S.C. health officials update testing guidelines, recommend monthly tests for those frequent outings, not wearing mask, social distancing

DHEC asks labs to get results back in 24 hours, but state leaders did not say if that was happening consistently.

State leaders give new testing guidance

FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) -South Carolina health officials say you may need to get tested once a month.

Those are the latest guidelines from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Some are calling the ask unfair.

DHEC’s rolling out some new testing guidelines for people choosing to leave their homes. If anyone is going into crowds or out and about frequently, especially if people are mask-less or not social distancing, DHEC wants them to get tested monthly.

“We also now recommend routine testing for people who are out and about in the community," says DHEC’s Dr. Brannon Traxler. “DHEC remains steadfast in our commitment to protect the health of all South Carolinians."

As a business owner, Jennifer Lumpkin feels she falls in the testing category. She works with kids every day.

“We’re doing everything that’s recommended and everything that’s best to keep these kids safe and healthy and keep our staff safe and healthy," says Lumpkin.

To get that once-a-month test, Lumpkin would have to close until she got the results.

It is a decision she cannot afford to make.

“It would be extremely detrimental to my business," Lumpkin says. "To sit at home for a week and not be in her with the kids, running the studio and teaching the classes that’s time that we’re not gonna be able to make money and the kids aren’t gonna be able to come in here and do class.”

Instead, she is relying on what she knows—the safety measures DHEC taught her.

She has the works—masks, temperature checks and social distancing.

Her students wash their hands often since it is an art studio.

She makes sure everyone is safe.

However, as soon as anyone in her art studio does feel sick, if it happens, she says she will make sure they are the first in line to get tested.

“You can’t live your life in fear and you can’t live your life worrying about getting somebody else sick. Just be smart about it," says Lumpkin.

DHEC asks labs to get results back in 24 hours, but state leaders did not say if that was happening consistently.

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