Governor Henry McMaster today signed Executive Order 2020-73, which gives the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) the authority to implement its school testing program. Governor McMaster and SCDHEC Interim Director of Public Health, Dr. Brannon Traxler, discussed the new testing initiative at a news conference last week.
“Right now, too many South Carolina parents are having to choose between their jobs and their children because they aren’t being given an option to send their children to school for in-person instruction,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “School districts throughout our state have shown that we can safely educate our children in the classroom, and these tests will give students, teachers, and faculty members another layer of defense against the COVID-19 virus.”
For more information about the program and FAQ’s, visit SCDHEC’s website here.
- 220,000 Abbott BinaxNOW tests have been allocated for the program, with each participating district initially receiving enough tests to account for 10% of the staff and student body population.
- Tests will be available to symptomatic students, teachers, and other staff.
- Results of the tests are available in approximately 15 minutes.
- Participation in the testing program is voluntary and will require a consent form to be completed by minors’ parents or guardians. Individual school districts also have the ability to opt out of the program.
- SCDHEC anticipates distributing the tests to school districts next week, though participating districts will need time to distribute the tests to individual schools and train staff to administer the tests.