'Great service to the community’: First free COVID-19 testing site offered in York

First free COVID-19 testing site offered in York

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — York is the last local town or city to offer free coronavirus testing.

Channel 9′s Greg Suskin said cars were lined up around the block Friday morning, all to get tested. Police were also there directing traffic.

>> We’ll bring you LIVE updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Get extended coverage on the free WSOC Now app on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.

Content Continues Below

Tents were set up outside a church in a neighborhood, so people have a separate walk-up line.

Erica Jones was in that line and said she tried to get tested before, but couldn’t.

“It’s really actually awesome, because I tried to get it done yesterday, and I was not aware that I had to have an appointment and everything like that," said Jones.

This is the first time in York County for this kind of setup for free testing. Affinity Health Care was able to test 450 people Friday.

Jones said she was concerned she had been exposed to the virus and wanted to get tested.

“I have underlying, underlying health conditions. I have severe asthma, and there was a possible exposure at work," she said.

Other people, like Darrell Williams, drove from Fort Mill because he’s self-quarantining after a possible exposure.

“Just as a precaution. So this would help confirm whether or not I was actually exposed,” Williams said.

Everyone in line fills out a form that does not require any health insurance information. People then get an uncomfortable but brief nasal swab during the test.

Medical staff said they know many people just want the test for peace of mind.

“There may be some people that are just anxious, and they want to know. You know, this is impacting all of our lives in various ways," said Devonda Gomez with Affinity Health Care.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

If someone has symptoms, the first person they talk to will ask them about it.

“I think this is fantastic. It really is. It’s a great service to the community," a resident said.

People who were tested today were told they can expect results in seven days or fewer. Affinity Health Care said it will call each person who was tested about whether the result is positive or negative.

Affinity plans to do the free testing in York every Friday for the next five weeks or as long as there’s a demand for it.

5% of Mecklenburg County is expected to be tested in next 30 days