200922-A-ZN169-015.jpgSgt. 1st Class Kenneth Weiss, with Company B, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, guides a vehicle into a testing station during drive thru COVID-19 testing at Fort Jackson Sept. 22. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons)

By Josephine Carlson and Robert Timmons                                                                                                                                              Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Fort Jackson and the Medical University of South Carolina teamed up again to offer drive thru COVID-19 testing Sept. 22 and 24.

They teamed up in July to offer testing as well.

“We’ve been operating in at risk testing sites throughout the entire state of South Carolina,” said Quenton Tompkins, Government Affairs Manager for MUSC. “So we are fortunate to be back here at Fort Jackson.”

Tompkins said he believes that testing is vitally important especially “if folks are not feeling well or exhibiting symptoms.”

"It's extremely important for (retirees and beneficiaries) to come on and get tested,” said Fort Jackson commander, Brig. Gen. Milford H. “Beags” Beagle Jr. during the testing in July. "It's not a 'me' thing, it's a 'we' thing. We need to do the right thing so that we can help protect others."

“If you think you have been in some high risk areas, or if you’ve been exposed in any kind of way, even if you are not having symptoms, I would highly encourage people to get tested,” he said. “Many folks in our community are asymptomatic, meaning they are not exhibiting any symptoms whatsoever.”

Participants in the testing were given a nasal pharyngeal swab in one nostril.

While not the most comfortable way to be tested, it is “the most efficient and most accurate test,” Tompkins said. “It’s not the most comfortable feeling, but it wasn’t painful at all.” Research is still ongoing to validate saliva testing that many people have heard of.

The test is not considered a rapid test with results being available between 48 to 72 hours.

Tompkins said there are a limited number of rapid tests, but those are typically for first responders and medical personnel on the front lines battling COVID-19.

“Some facilities can offer rapid testing, but again, it’s limited,” he added.

Test results will be sent via a number of communication methods including email and a phone call if positive. “It depends on what they selected during the registration process.”