County libraries hosting free COVID-19 testing
By Samantha Lyles
The Darlington County Library System has partnered with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and CareSouth Carolina to offer free COVID-19 testing at three branches in Darlington, Lamar, and Society Hill.
While the first testing day in Darlington (Sept. 17) was washed out when the remnants of Hurricane Sally dumped torrential rains on the city, the other testing dates are still a go and all are welcome to take advantage of this community health service.
“We’ve got three more testing days lined up,” says Jimmie Epling, Darlington County Library System director. “One is in Lamar on Sept. 24, and then we have Society Hill on Sept. 25 and Oct. 8.”
Those wishing to be tested can drive up to the library and park, then just walk over to the CareSouth mobile unit for the test. Results will be delivered confidentially within a few days.
There is no word yet on whether the Darlington Library test day will be rescheduled.
Epling says that while the original plan called for using all four library branches, the Hartsville Library’s parking lot actually belongs to the City of Hartsville, so the county could not commit to using it as a testing site.
Since most residents are familiar with the location of their town’s library, utilizing them as testing sites seemed a natural fit. Epling says that while you’re on site getting tested, be sure to pop into the library and check out some new reading material, borrow a classic movie, or make use of the high speed Internet connections available at all branches.
“We have been open since Sept. 8 for public access and regular hours have been resumed,” says Epling, noting that face coverings are mandatory and social distancing is required.
Each library branch also limits the number of persons allowed in their buildings, and these numbers are clearly posted at the entrance. Epling says the branches are carving out dedicated spaces for student use as schools reopen and the need for computer access increases.
“There are still restrictions, and we are working to provide some study space for students and tutors so that it will be safe and healthy for them to meet in the libraries,” says Epling.
Free COVID-19 testing will be performed at the Lamar Library, 103 East Main St., on Sept. 24 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and at the Society Hill Library, 114 Carrigan St., on Sept. 25 and Oct. 8 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. To learn more, call the Lamar Library at (843) 326-5524 or the Society Hill Library at (843) 378-0026, or visit https://darlington-lib.org.