COVID screening held in Lamar

CareSouth Community Health Care Worker Janeshia Middleton performs COVID-19 tests at the Moby testing unit in Lamar. PHOTO BY SAMANTHA LYLES

By Samantha Lyles

slyles@newsandpress.net

Residents in the Lamar area took advantage of free COVID-19 testing last Friday, as CareSouth Carolina deployed one of their Moby mobile care units right near the center of town. Those wishing to get tested drove up to the unit and were met by health care workers, who took a bit of information and performed the test, all in about five minutes. Unlike some of the large-scale COVID screening events held over the spring and summer, these low-key testing days allow folks to get tested and get on with their day without long waits or traffic jams. The Moby units are small enough to set up just about anywhere, offering an increasingly necessary service to those in rural areas, and those without ready transportation. “The advantage is that we can go out into any of the communities and just hold a pop-up screening,” said Janeshia Middleton, Community Health Care Worker with CareSouth Carolina. “People are able to drive up in their cars or walk up, someone will bring them their paperwork and give them the test. This way, there isn’t as much interaction and there aren’t as many people around.” The Moby Unit administered mouth swab tests – which are a bit more comfortable than the nasal swab variety – from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Lamar Library parking lot. Test kits from these mobile screenings are sent to SC DHEC, and the results come back to CareSouth within about 3 business days. Test results are then confidentially delivered by phone. “We’re glad to be able to offer this service to the community…right now we have four Mobys, and within about the next month, we’ll have five, so we’ll have a Moby for each county that we serve,” said Joe Bittle, CareSouth Carolina Chief of Community Health. “They will be going out to a different spot each day of the week to offer COVID testing, making it more accessible to people that might not have been able to come to one of the big public testing days.” CareSouth also provides those being tested with useful information about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by using face coverings, avoiding groups of people, and practicing social distancing. If you do test positive for COVID-19, a contact tracer from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will call you. They will connect you to medical care and help you find resources and support if needed. They will ask about places you have been and the people you have spent time with recently. The contact tracer will call the people you recently were in close contact with and let them know they have been exposed to COVID-19. A “close contact” is someone you have been within 6 feet of for at least 15 minutes. They will inform your contacts that they have been exposed to COVID-19 and what they need to do during the next few days to take care of themselves and others. All the information you provide will be kept confidential and not shared with others. They will not ask about your immigration status. They will not share your name and your personal information with any of your contacts. To keep up with the latest free COVID-19 testing opportunities near you, visit www.scdhec.gov/covid19

Author: Rachel Howell

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