COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced it is actively addressing issues with multiple COVID-19 testing vendors and reporting facilities for failures to process tests, report results and case counts since the omicron-fueled surge began in late December.

As previously reported, the majority of COVID tests ― about 97% ― are processed at large, non-DHEC labs.

While DHEC’s Public Health Lab, which has a daily capacity of 2,500 samples, is operating at that capacity and currently not experiencing any delays, other large private labs such as Premier Medical Laboratory Services have fallen significantly behind.

This is due to issues ranging from the large volume of samples to COVID-related internal staffing shortages and still have not caught up or met contractually obligated deadlines to do so.

Additionally, some private testing vendors have fallen so far behind in reporting results that DHEC had to take the unprecedented step of recommending those individuals finish what would have been their isolation time or return to work if it has been more than five days.

DHEC realizes the delays being experienced by some Carolinians are unacceptable and is taking every step to hold the responsible labs and vendors accountable and get results back in a timely fashion.

DHEC said it apologizes to all those negatively impacted by the substandard performance of select vendors and is working diligently to correct those issues.

DHEC emphasized the safety and welfare of the citizens of South Carolina remain DHEC’s overriding concern.