Benedict College and CVS Health today announced the launch of rapid COVID-19 testing on the College’s Columbia campus. CVS Pharmacists and pharmacy employees will staff the testing operation, which will be available at no cost to patients.
“I applaud Benedict College and CVS Health for partnering to increase much-needed COVID-19 testing in our community,” said Congressman Clyburn. “We must do everything we can to ensure South Carolinians have the resources they need to arrest the spread of this virus. I encourage all eligible residents to utilize this vital service by registering in advance and visiting the testing site as soon as possible.”
Testing at Benedict College, located at 1903 Two Notch Road in Columbia, will be open to the public by appointment. Patients will need to pre-register in advance by calling 803-705-4351 to schedule a time slot to come to the center for testing.
“Working with partners like Benedict College is an important part of our comprehensive strategy to increase access to COVID-19 testing,” said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health. “This joint effort allows us to tap into the network of a trusted organization with strong community ties to further expand testing in areas of greatest need.”
A personal vehicle is not required for testing and results will be provided on-the-spot. To be eligible for testing, patients will need to meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines.
“The City of Columbia is pleased to partner with CVS Health and Benedict College to provide the free community testing site until Wednesday, September 30,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “I urge everyone to visit the CVS Health-Benedict testing site during September to help us know more about COVID-19’s presence in Columbia. Community testing gives us the data we can use to plan and allocate resources to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our city. By getting tested, you are not only finding out about your own health, but you are ensuring the health of your family, your community and your City.”
“It is gratifying when corporations like CVS Health recognize the commitment and service of Benedict College to the communities that support our students and the college,” said Benedict College President & CEO Dr. Roslyn C. Artis. “This is our second partnership to offer free COVID-19 testing to the citizens of Columbia and the surrounding area and we encourage everyone that is able to take advantage of this testing for health and safety of their families and communities.”
Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution with over 2,100 students enrolled in its 34 baccalaureate degree programs. This Midlands HBCU has been a community leader for over 148-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region, contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact.
“I’m glad to see CVS Health working with Benedict College to bring free, rapid COVID-19 testing to a location that is easily accessible in the community,” said State Senator Darrell Jackson. “Testing is important to stop the spread of this virus and I applaud these two organizations for their commitment to supporting public health here in the Midlands.”
In addition to offering testing together with several community partners across the country, CVS Health is offering drive-thru testing at more than 1,800 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. Nearly sixty percent of these CVS Pharmacy test sites serve communities with significant need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index.
“I, like most South Carolinians, want to ensure the safety of our citizens and for things to go back to normal,” said State Representative Todd Rutherford. “I cannot stress enough the importance of social distancing, wearing masks, and getting tested. I am pleased that CVS Health and Benedict College have opened a free, rapid testing site to increase access to testing here in Columbia.”