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Drive-thru COVID testing offered in July

The Beaufort County Health Department is teaming up with Mako Medical to host two drive-thru COVID-19 testing events in Beaufort County.

The first will take place at Beaufort County Community College on July 7; the second will happen the next day at Southside High School. Both events will be split into two segments, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and again from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate those who work until 5 p.m., according to Janell Octigan, Beaufort County Health Department’s human services planner and preparedness coordinator.

The health department is asking those interested in being tested to make an appointment for a drive-thru test for social distancing purposes, but will not turn away those without appointments.

“We will try to do everything in our ability to test everyone, but we want appointments to eliminate mass gatherings at one time,” Octigan said.

She also encouraged anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms not to wait for the drive-thru events to be tested.

“If somebody is currently experiencing symptoms, our advice is to call their provider or, if they don’t have a provider, to call us, and we will get them tested before the 7th and the 8th,” Octigan said.

Mako Medical, a COVID-19 testing firm, will supply the testing kits, and the health department is responsible for scheduling and staffing both events, as well as contacting those who’ve been tested with their test results. The drive-thru testing events are part of the health department’s push for greater contact tracing — and early identification of those with the virus — as well as offering more opportunities for residents to be tested.

“It is important for us to identify positives, because we can stop the spread of COVID-19 by following up, not only with positives, but by following up with contacts of those positives, so we can help mitigate the spread and prevent further spread,” she said.

ID is required for testing. Those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance card.

“Insurance is covering COVID testing, but if someone doesn’t have insurance, they’re still able to go through — they won’t be charged,” Octigan said.

To make an appointment for COVID-19 drive-thru testing, call the Beaufort County Health Department at 252-946-1902.