Good morning, Columbia, Lauren here. This morning, I’m getting open + honest about coronavirus testing. 🦠
After cases began to steadily rise and some acquaintances tested positive, I decided to get tested yesterday morning. While I have no symptoms and don’t think I’ve come into direct contact with the virus, I wanted to be safe + proactive. Until I get the results back, which will take about three to five days, I’ll be hanging out at home.
With a little research (and the help of DHEC’s testing finder) I was able to find a free testing location and book an appointment for the next day at a drive-thru testing center at the Walmart on Garners Ferry Rd. The testing was hosted by Quest Diagnostics + I had to take a short survey to qualify it. My appointment was at 8:25 a.m. and I left by 8:55 a.m.
When I drove up, a testing center worker held up a sign letting me know to keep my windows up and hold my appointment confirmation and ID against the window. After getting checked in, another worker passed my testing kit through the window with a long tool, similar to a trash picker. The kit included a nasal swab, vial, tissues and a form with my information. I held onto the kit until it was my turn in line.
The next worker was a pharmacist who had me roll the windows completely down (partially due to tint) so she could instruct me + observe me complete the test. I put the swab up my nose, to a predetermined mark, one nostril at a time, turned it twice and held it for 15 seconds. The pharmacist warned me the swab may make my eyes water, make me sneeze, need to cough or gag. While it wasn’t painful, just uncomfortable, my eyes did water when I took the swab out.
When I was done, the pharmacist had me put the swab inside the vial and place my kit into a cooler, which she rolled up to my window. The entire process was contactless and the workers wore masks, face shields, gloves + coveralls.
Overall, the test wasn’t necessarily a pleasant experience, but it couldn’t have been easier and I feel better knowing that in a few days I’ll have my results and can help prevent the spread if it does come back positive.
Jessica here – I also went to a free testing event in Lexington County this week. The whole process was very quick, less than 30 minutes. The drive-up event was hosted by DHEC + Lexington Medical Center and all I needed was my drivers license. They took my information down when I pulled up to my lane and right after a medical professional administered the test. She had me remove my mask, tilt my head back and sit on my hands. The test was quick, but uncomfortable and made my eyes water. They informed me that if I had a negative result I will get a letter in about seven days and if the test was positive I would receive a phone call.