Drive-thru testing opens for Upstate first responders

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Several agencies have been working together to make sure Upstate first responders can get tested for the novel coronavirus.

The testing is the result of collaboration between several groups, including the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Greenville County emergency response team and the Upstate Health Care Coalition, which is an 11 county health care region.

A drive-thru testing center opened Monday morning at the Greenville Convention Center.

“Our goal is to get our first responders turned around as quickly as possible so they can be back in the community, helping our constituents,” said Jay Marett, who is the director of emergency management for Greenville County.

The drive-thru is just for first responders, such as health care workers, firefighters, police and EMS.

“They go through the same testing criteria and go through the same test, it’s just an expedited method again to get our first responders back on the street,” Marett said.

Those who are still deemed at risk after an initial screen can get tested in the drive-thru. In a demonstration, a health care worker showed 7News how the testing works: they pushed a swab pretty far up a manequin’s nose before pulling out the sample, which would be shipped to a lab.

“There are no special circumstances here,” Marett said.

The drive-thru is set to be open five days a week, but Marett said that could be expanded or contracted, depending on the amount of cases they see.

Other counties in the Upstate Health Care Coalition are working to set up similar sites, according to Marett.

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