Who Should Get Tested for COVID-19

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With the accuracy, convenience, and widespread availability of rapid at-home tests, and a significant decrease in demand for drive-through PCR testing, DHEC announced a shift in its COVID-19 testing strategy toward at-home rapid antigen tests across South Carolina beginning March 1, 2022. See the announcement for additional updates.

Who should get tested?

People with symptoms; Close contacts

South Carolina is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations from the peak of the Omicron surge. As the virus continues to trend toward an endemic, screening testing is no longer necessary or recommended in most instances. That is why DHEC’s testing efforts going forward will focus on those who need to be tested either because:

  1. they are currently symptomatic or
  2. have been exposed as a close contact to someone with the disease.

Where can I get a rapid at-home test?

  • Residents can visit the DHEC testing locator to confirm whether their local public health department has at-home rapid tests available for pickup. If so, Rapid Antigen Tests Available will appear in the location name.
  • Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the federal government. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them.

When do I isolate or quarantine?

  • If you are sick, test positive or a close contact and are waiting on test results, isolate even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • If you were exposed, quarantine and stay away from others when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Read the latest guidance here.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Find a location offering vaccines and boosters near you here.

Additional Testing Information

  • If you have had a positive test, you do not need another test for 3 months after the test date or when symptoms began as long as you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Testing children is also important. Children may not have fever or other signs of illness yet be able to spread the virus. Your child’s provider might also test for other common illnesses, such as flu or strep throat. Testing is key to keeping you and your child safe.
  • An antibody test is done with a blood sample. This test should NOT be used to diagnose COVID-19 infection. A positive antibody indicates you were probably infected with COVID-19, but it doesn’t tell when. You should not consider yourself protected from the virus.


COVID-19 Testing Statewide