COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina health officials announced changes Friday in their COVID-19 testing and case reporting strategy.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said they will begin closing DHEC-managed testing sites beginning March 1.

DHEC said that decreased demand for drive-through PCR testing and availability of rapid at-home tests prompted the changes.

The agency will also stop reporting daily case counts beginning March 15. DHEC said they will continue to report hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19.

Full list of changes:

  • March 1-14: Gradual closure of DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in all counties with five or more non-DHEC PCR test providers such as primary care providers, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, mobile providers, etc.
  • March 15: Change the frequency and type of data reporting to once per week rather than every weekday to best track where the virus’ impact is most severe.
  • March 14-April 1: Gradual closure of DHEC-managed vendor testing sites in all counties with 2-4 non-DHEC PCR test providers.
  • April 1: Begin closure of DHEC-operated PCR sites except in counties where DHEC is the only PCR-test provider or only other such provider. In those areas, DHEC also will provide mobile rapid antigen testing services.

DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler is expected to hold a briefing with media regarding the changes at 11:30 a.m.

You can watch the briefing live right here.