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File photo. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Tidelands Health officials are asking people to avoid trips to the emergency room to receive COVID-19 tests if they are experiencing mild or no symptoms.

The hospital system does not provide asymptomatic COVID-19 testing and those without symptoms who need a test are encouraged to get a free test through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, according to release from Tidelands. Those who are 12 years old and older experiencing non-emergency COVID-19 symptoms can receive a test and appropriate care at Tidelands Health respiratory clinics in Murrells Inlet and Georgetown.

“Our hospital emergency departments are not designed to be asymptomatic COVID-19 testing sites,” Ashley Capps, vice president of nursing and operations, said in a release Tuesday. “We ask community members for their cooperation by seeking the appropriate level of care from the appropriate venue and only come to the ER when emergency care is needed."

Individuals should also not visit the ER if they have mild symptoms like a cough, runny nose or body aches, the release states.

Tidelands reminds people who are experiencing a medical emergency to dial 911 or visit their nearest ER for assistance.

To schedule an appointment at the respiratory clinic in Georgetown, call 843-527-4442. To schedule an appointment in Murrells Inlet, call 843-652-6300. Normal physician office visit fees apply, the release states.

Tidelands Health continues to encourage people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“All of us must continue to do what we can to protect ourselves and others from this virus,” Capps said. “Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Wear a face mask in public places. Be smart, and let’s get control of COVID-19.”

Here's where to get the vaccine and booster for free at three of Tidelands' Grand Strand locations: 

  • Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, Harris Medical Pavilion entrance, 606 Black River Rd., Georgetown. Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tidelands Health Medical Park at The Market Common, 2200 Crow Lane, Myrtle Beach. Every Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Compass Professional Center, 10607 Highway 707, Myrtle Beach. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reach Hannah Strong Oskin at 843-488-7242 or follow her on Twitter @HannahSOskin.


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