PICKENS COUNTY, SC (WSPA)–COVID-19 tests are in high demand in Pickens County according to emergency management officials. Pickens County said more tests are being conducted now, than when the virus first started.
“We’re seeing more tests being conducted, but the increased amount of positives due to those tests, actually tells us that there are folks out there that have the COVID virus,” said Billy Gibson, Director for Emergency Services for Pickens County.
Gibson said since March, 86,460 tests have been administered, and nearly 6,000 of those tests have been given within the last two weeks.
“I would say we’re seeing a higher demand for testing now, than before I would say the early stages, when we first started,” Gibson said.
“6,000 people in our County is definitely a lot, but at the same time, I don’t think testing numbers rising is a bad thing. I think it’s important for people to know whether or not they’re positive. I think that influences a lot of how they interacting with other people,” said Cole Seaborn, a resident.
“Some of them may be completely asymptomatic, which means they are not showing anything that we would normally see as symptoms of COVID. But that just tells us we need to double our efforts and making sure we’re following the safety guidelines and the safety precautions by wearing your masks,” Gibson said.
Gibson said everyone should be washing their hands and practicing social distancing.
Seaborn said he has never been tested, but he knows other people who have waited awhile to get their results back.
“I know I’ve had family members who have tried to get tested and have had trouble getting results, and have also had to wait a really long time just to get tested. So, I think being able to just to be able to expedite that process, whatever that takes. I know it’s going to take patience and science being approved and what not,” Seaborn said.
Gibson said despite the influx, they aren’t seeing a backlog on testing results at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) sites.
“72 hours seems to be the norm and right now, that seems to be regular. We haven’t seen anything pass that yet, even with the increase testing. It seems right now, that DHEC is able to keep up with the testing,” Gibson said.
Right now, Pickens County is third in the state for the percentage of tests coming back positive. They’re attributing much of that to more tests being conducted.
“Right now, we’re third in the state as far as folks testing positive. Exactly why that has happened, we really don’t know,” Gibson said.
“The downside of that I think there’s a lot of skepticism about are test legit. You know am I getting a false positive or a false negative,” Seaborn said.
That’s why Gibson said it’s important for everyone to follow safety guidelines and take the virus seriously.
“I would be hesitant to talk about how much false positives may be out there because we just don’t know. I would advise people to take every result at face value and take it for what it means and take necessary precautions,” Gibson added.