Charleston, South Carolina – With about three years into the pandemic and nearly 100 million COVID-19 cases nationwide since the start of the pandemic, the majority now think of COVID-19 as something closer to the flu than a dangerous disease. In recent weeks, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been steadily increasing, but health experts don’t expect that America will face an influx of COVID cases and hospitalizations similar to last year and the year before.
The majority of Americans have been exposed to the virus and have developed natural immunity, but vaccination also plays an important role in preventing severe conditions and death. Pfizer and Moderna, the major vaccine manufacturers, announced updated bi-valent COVID booster shots several months ago that provide additional benefit in keeping people safe from infection with Omicron and its subvariants.
During the winter months, people usually spend more time indoors, where they are more exposed to the virus. Health experts also blame the holiday gatherings as an additional factor that contributes to more people becoming infected with COVID. So far, the situation with COVID-19 seems stable in South Carolina, but some states are already seeing an uptick in new cases.
In order to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses during the holiday season, the Charleston County School District and Dorchester District 2 will hold daily COVID-19 and flu testing events in some of their schools over the next few weeks.
The first testing event took place on Sunday, December 5, at Burke High School where free COVID-19 and Influenza A and B tests were offered. According to the Charleston County SD, the district will offer free testing at various schools every day until December 17. Those interested in free testing should visit this link to see the schedule and register for testing.
Supported by the South Carolina Department of Health, Dorchester District Two will also offer free testing every day during working days. According to the school district, testing will be offered free of charge to students, school staff, and their families every working day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 115 Devon Road in Cottage 18. The district added that it will also provide home test kits. No appointment is necessary, but participants must pre-register by visiting the school district’s website.