South Carolina will downgrade the COVID-19 test program
South Carolina will downgrade the COVID-19 test program

South Carolina will downgrade the COVID-19 test program

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – South Carolina health officials said Friday they will begin closing COVID-19 test sites across the state due to the growing availability of rapid tests at home.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will begin closing state-run test sites as of March 1, the agency said in a news release.

The agency says at home rapid testing is now the most effective testing tool to help slow the spread of the virus and help people decide whether to isolate them because they are fast and convenient.

Because the results of these home tests are not to be reported to the department, it will stop delivering daily case counts on March 15 instead of switching to weekly reports, officials said. The health department will continue to provide data on hospitalization and deaths.

The state has seen a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases since an omicron variant-induced increase has peaked.

The National Board of Health says it plans to announce updates to its contact tracing program and guidance for schools next week.

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