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Chester County Emergency Management: ‘large COVID spike in the county,’ long lines seen at testing sites

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:31 PM EST
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CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) -Chester County’s only mass testing site where appointments are not required was slammed all day as COVID numbers have skyrocketed here.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says Chester County had less than 5 cases on November 30, the last day of the month, right after Thanksgiving. On the last day in December, Chester County had one of its highest case numbers to date with 49 testings coming back positive.

The data shows Chester County’s COVID spread is high and also shows the county had the highest percent positive rate in the state last week—14.5 percent.

That is why emergency management is encouraging people to act quickly especially getting tested at the only mass testing site in Chester County.

The Chester County Health Department also has free self-test kits where the person uses his or her saliva.

People are taking advantage of the testing site located at the Back Lot in Chester.

”It’s a great opportunity for the community to get testing. Because just relying on CVS I mean it can take like days,” says Miranda Stevenson.

The site manager says testing site workers were bracing for this. The lines were long, sometimes 30 to 45 minutes. That might not seem too bad until people consider this just three weeks ago a person could drive up and get a test in less than five minutes. The site manager says people are coming as far as Rock Hill and Lancaster to get tested here pushing their numbers from just seven tested a day a few weeks ago to 200 a day.

”I wanted to be tested to be on the safe side,” says a woman waiting in the line.

The line spilled into the street as cars followed each other bumper to bumper. Some of the rush to get tested stemming from the holiday celebrations just a week and a half ago.

”I’ve been separated from my family all since COVID started. And so I wanted to see my family and it’s been a while,” says Stevenson.

Stevenson says she was exposed and felt symptoms. She waited 45 minutes to make sure what she is feeling is not COVID.

”I’m a social worker and I work with people, so I want to protect myself as well as others,” she explains.

The other reasons people gave were as plentiful as the stacks and stacks of bags filled with tests on the table ready to be shipped off to labs. Tests take 48-72 hours to get back from this site.

”It’s important honey. It’s important because so many people are dying from this stuff. So, I just want to be in a position where I can be on the safe side,” says one woman.

”I just want to be a responsible citizen and so I want to be extra safe,” says another woman waiting in line.

The lines were not expected. People just a few weeks ago did not have to wait at all to get a test, so the same expectation came when they got tested today.

”I said let me pull up there are probably only a few cars. But I did not expect this many people,” says Stevenson.

This testing site is open on Tuesday and Thursdays from 9:30 to 3. Workers are encouraging everyone who comes down here to pre-register, so it can help these long lines. No need for insurance and tests are free. Follow this link for the pre-registration.

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