Prisma Health, in partnership with DHEC, launches community testing for COVID-19 at initial seven statewide screenings beginning this weekend.

GREENVILLE, SC – Prisma Health will launch community screening for COVID-19 at seven locations across South Carolina beginning Saturday, May 2, 2020, with more sites expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The community testing, done in partnership with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), will reach populations who may not otherwise have access to traditional testing or online virtual visits.

The initial screenings will be located in neighborhoods in Greenville, Richland and Sumter counties. Additional communities will be identified in Prisma Health’s other service counties over the next few weeks.

“For those individuals who cannot come to us, we are taking the test sites to them,” said Dr. Scott Sasser, incident commander over Prisma Health’s COVID-19 response and a national leader in emergency medicine and community response. “We know that virtual visits and the drive-through testing sites aren’t the right access for everyone,” said Sasser.

Testing is a priority for Prisma Health, especially providing access to communities that need it the most.

Prisma Health providers, nurses, community paramedics and staff will provide this screening, testing, and education outreach as part of Prisma Health’s Accountable Communities initiative.

At the testing sites:

· Individuals at these locations will be screened and those with COVID-19 symptoms will be tested without having a doctor’s order.

· Testing will be provided regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.

· No appointment is needed. Community members taking part will be given masks upon arrival and will be asked to maintain social distancing.

· Test results are expected within four days.

· Individuals will receive follow-up communication about the test results – whether positive or negative – from providers with Prisma Health.

· Those attending the testing events also will receive information about isolating at home if sick, tips on caring for themselves and when to seek additional care should their symptoms worsen.

· All events will run from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. regardless of locations or dates.

“Our team is focused on doing what we do best – finding ways to help those who depend on us,” said Sasser. “We understand that access to testing is limited. In this pandemic, testing availability for everyone has been a challenge. It’s important to test for this virus so that individuals and families know as quickly as possible when to isolate at home.”

Upstate sites include the following:

· Saturday, May 2 – Augusta Heights Baptist (3018 Augusta St., Greenville, SC 29605)

· Wednesday, May 6 – Augusta Heights Baptist (3018 Augusta St., Greenville, SC 29605)

· Saturday, May 9 – La Unica SuperCenter (6119 White Horse Rd #3, Greenville, SC 29611)

Midlands sites include the following:

· Saturday, May 2 – Union Baptist Church of Rembert (5840 Spring Hill Rd, Rembert, SC 29128)

· Wednesday, May 6 – Hopkins Park Adult Activity Center (144 Hopkins Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29061)

· Friday, May 8 – Richland County Rec Community Center (2750 McCords Ferry Rd, Eastover, SC 29044)

· Saturday, May 9 – Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center (8620 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins, SC 29061)

The initial test kits were provided to Prisma Health by DHEC at no charge.

Prisma Health has already opened five drive-through testing facilities across the state and testing sites for first responders, as well as launched a free Virtual Visit option for patients with suspected COVID-19, opened a community COVID-19 hotline and this week debuted the state’s first free interactive symptom tracker for the virus. Details of Prisma Health’s COVID-19 community outreach is available at https://www.prismahealth.org/coronavirus/ The hotline number is 1-833-2PRISMA.

About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,984 beds and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually. Its goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.