Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to participate?
Your participation in this initiative is completely voluntary. You can decide to participate, or decide not to participate, or change your mind about participating at any time. Your decision to take part will not affect any services you might receive from DHEC.
Why am I being asked to participate?

Public health officials and state leaders need to understand which communities and populations have been most impacted from COVID-19 and which areas are the most susceptible. Random selection of residents allows for equitable representation of all people living in the state.

Can I participate if I have had the COVID-19 vaccine or plan to have it shortly?
Yes! You are still able to participate in this testing initiative if you have already completed your COVID-19 vaccination, are in the middle of your vaccine schedule, or plan to have it soon.
Who is being selected for this testing?

Anyone living in the state of South Carolina aged 5 years and older are included in the testing selection lottery.

Do I have to make an appointment?

Yes – if you are going to a clinic partner for testing. Our clinic partners will be working you into their normal schedules and would like for you to make an appointment so they can best provide quick testing for you. Yes – if you are home-bound, do not have transportation access, or have special needs. We are partnering with EMTs that can come to your house. We have a limited number of these home visit opportunities, so please reserve these spots for those who most need it. No – if you are going to a pop-up community testing site. We have reserved specific days, times, and locations of pop-up community testing sites that will offer both the virus and antibody testing. Since these sites have already been reserved, you will not need to make an appointment for this option.

Can I go to any community pop-up testing site?

No, we will have a select number of participating pop-up testing site with a trained phlebotomist present. Most testing sites only have nasal swab testing available and are not able to offer the project testing.

Is this a research study?

No. This testing initiative is a part of pandemic public health response of our state health department. Our protocol was reviewed by the University of South Carolina Institutional Review Board and was considered to be exempt of human subjects research.

Will I get my test results?

Yes, you will receive test results either from the clinic or community testing event site. Due to privacy concerns, we will not be able to release our test results through the hotline.

Can I go to a different clinic or community pop-up site than what was listed in my invitation letter?

Yes! You can go to any of our participating clinics or sites. More information is located on the ‘testing locations’ tab.Will I get my test results? Yes, you will receive test results either from the clinic or community testing event site. Due to privacy concerns, we will not be able to release our test results through the hotline.

Will my information be private?

Yes, by working with existing medical clinics and established pop-up testing sites all medical information will remain confidential

Can I participate if I did not receive an invitation letter?

No. Unfortunately the cost of testing can be covered only for those who received an invitation letter. However, others may seek testing through traditional routes. (e.g. existing community testing sites or their personal physician)

Do I have to give blood AND get a nasal swab?

Yes. It is important that we have matched samples and we would ask that you participate in both active disease testing and antibody testing at the same time.

Do I have to complete the health survey?

Yes, this private survey will help public health official understand how local residents feel about testing, social distancing and mask wearing, and how the population is reacting to the pandemic. This is your chance to get your voice heard about how you are responding to the pandemic.

Do I have to pay for my test?

No. All the participants with an invitation letter will be offered a free virus and antibody test. You will not be asked to provide any insurance information. However, your family or friends are not able to get tested as a part of this testing initiative. They can seek free virus testing at any of DHEC’s community pop-up testing sites.

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Have a different question?

Please contact us at 803-576-7378 or scstrong@sc.edu