SC leaders consider allowing school nurses to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests


SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – A program proposed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control would allow school nurses to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests.

7 News learned what Upstate parents think about it.

“My grandkids are number one in my book and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to them. Period,” Melissa Smith said.

Melissa Smith told 7 News one of her biggest fears is seeing one of her grandkids contract COVID-19.

“I know people who’ve had it and are still on life support, so it’s real,” she said.

Smith said she’d want to know right away if her grandchildren had the virus, so when she heard that the South Carolina Department of Education and DHEC are considering an in-school rapid testing program, she was all for it.

“That would be great to keep them from piling into a doctor’s office where COVID is found. I think it’d be a great idea,” she said.

And she’s not alone.

“I think it’s a good program to be able to get the results that quickly,” Traci West said.

The tests would be administered by school nurses, and Traci West told 7 News she’d be fine with that.

“I trust all of the teachers and the nurses–in this school district especially,” she said. “They’ve always been great with my kids.”

West said hers have underlying health conditions, making the program even more attractive.

“One I have, he’s allergic to everything, and the other has anemia,” she said.

West isn’t just concerned about her own children, but all students, and she said she thinks the program could be great in helping in the fight against COVID.

“Help to get the spread under control,” she said. “Get the results in time to get them treated and so that other kids wouldn’t get the virus.”

“I never thought I’d live to see a school shut down,” Smith said. “For my grandkids, I definitely agree with it. And for all other students, too.”

Both Smith and West told 7 News they believe other parents would want to take advantage of the program as well.

“There are so many kids whose parents can’t afford to carry their kids to the doctor,” Smith said.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Education told 7 News they’re still working on the logistics of the program. We’ll update you here as we learn more.

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