First free coronavirus testing site in western York County opens Friday at York church

Free coronavirus testing in York County

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - Western York County will have its first on-site coronavirus testing site Friday, officials said.

Testing will be done from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church, at 302 California St., York, said Steve Love, York city councilman.

The testing is free and no insurance or appointment is necessary, Love said. York city and civic leaders urge anyone who should be tested or wants to be tested to take advantage of the service, Love said.

The testing is open to all people of all ages, Love said.

“We have a time and place now to try and reach many of our older residents or people who do not have health insurance,” Love said. “It is also closer to home for a large part of our population.”

Love, a longtime member and officer of the western York County NAACP and South Carolina NAACP, said the testing also is important in the city of York where a large part of the population is African-American.

ore African-Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 in South Carolina than the percentage of the black population, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Based on data from the agency, 45% of the South Carolinians who tested positive for the virus are black, but they make up 27% of the state’s population. And 54% of South Carolinians who have died from the virus are black, according to DHEC’s data.

Since the pandemic started, York County has had 317 COVID-19 cases confirmed, according to official state numbers.

“It is important to the public health of all people to have as many people tested as possible,” Love said.

CORONAVIRUS IN YORK COUNTY

Michael Fuesser, York mayor, said the testing in York for residents of the city and areas of western York County is a positive step toward reaching people who may not have had access to testing beforehand.

”This is a very important testing day for our senior citizens, and really anyone who should be tested,” Fuesser said.

The testing will be provided by Affinity Heath Care, Fuesser said.

Several York and South Carolina top officials from the S.C. General Assembly, York County Council York City Council, and health agencies will be on-site Friday to talk to residents.

Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill also does COVID-19 testing. Affinity Health Care in Rock Hill offers drive-through testing.

North Central Family Medical Center in Rock Hill tests symptomatic patients and is planning to offer drive-through testing by appointment.

DHEC plans to nearly double the amount of statewide testing in May, with a goal of testing 2% of the state’s population, or 110,000 people, in each of the next two months, agency officials said.

And as part of its plan, DHEC has started to test every resident and staff member in all South Carolina nursing homes, which will include about 40,000 people. Part of the DHEC program also is to expand testing in minority communities and rural areas in the state.

As a result of the increased testing, York County reported a high number of cases last week, county officials said.

On Tuesday, the county had 15 new coronavirus cases, which was the highest single-day total reported in the county since the pandemic began, and eight cases Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to DHEC and county figures.