By Riley Morningstar
SENECA — While rapid COVID-19 testing resources have been shrinking locally, Upstate Medical Associates is well stocked.
The medical clinic located on Wells Highway is offering a special deal on the BD Veritor rapid response tests that are approximately 96 percent accurate, according to clinical coordinator Stephanie Moore. Results can be returned as quickly as 15 minutes, much quicker than the industry-standard PCR nasal test that takes about 48 hours or longer to find out a result.
Physician assistant Henry Ramirez said the test is less invasive than the PCR tests, which reach high into the nasal cavity.
Rapid tests normally cost upward of $150, Ramirez said, but Upstate Medical is offering tests for $107, which includes an exam to monitor vital signs because of the additional effects of COVID-19.
“I wanted to help the community, so I lowered that price for the good of the community,” Ramirez said. “It’s a very good price.”
Ramirez encouraged those visiting loved ones during the holiday season to go out and get a quick response test for peace of mind.
“If anyone is traveling or going out of town, people want to know if they have COVID-19 before they get on an airplane,” Moore added. “Come here, get tested and we’ll give you the result so you can take it to wherever you’re visiting and say, ‘Hey, I’m negative.’ It’s a hard year in general, and especially around the holidays, you want to spend time with your family. At the same time, you want to be careful and not take any unnecessary germ or virus to your loved ones.”
Tests will be offered as long as supplies last. The office first offered the rapid tests on Oct. 8. At the time, cases in Oconee County were trending downward from a late September peak. Now, since Oct. 31, cases have climbed back up, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“I know, right now, at urgent care (clinics) they’re out of tests. Our supplier is telling us that we should not run out,” Moore said. “It kind of leveled out for a little bit. I would say the middle of last week, we’ve seen a spike. People are getting exposed, and we do testing for companies that have exposures. … We want to serve the communities as best we can.”
Those who have been exposed to COVID-19 within the past two weeks will be directed to go through the office’s side doors to prevent any possible exposures to the public.
To check in with the office ahead of stopping in for a rapid COVID-19 test, call (864) 886-2000 or visit upstatemed.com.
Upstate Medical Associates is offering extended hours for rapid response COVID-19 testing. Tests are only for those 16 and older.
Monday-Thursday: 8-11:30 a.m. and 1:45-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8-11:30 a.m.
[email protected] | (864) 973-6685