Keeping You Safe during COVID-19

The pandemic has put an enormous strain on our team and healthcare systems across the country. We’re busier than ever, and many of our teammates have been reassigned to provide support in the fight against COVID-19. We’re still here for you, committed to providing you with the safest, highest quality care available.

Based on the rise in COVID-19 infections here and across the country, our Emergency Rooms and Express Care locations are experiencing increased traffic. Lowcountry residents can also use the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control testing locator to find a testing provider.

Nurse with mask


Helpful information

In an Emergency

In an emergency situation, every minute matters. Call 911 or visit the ER. Here’s a list of Roper St. Francis Emergency Room locations. Please don't suffer at home during this crisis. We’re keeping ER patients whose symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 separate, isolating them from everyone else and performing intense cleaning to ensure your safety.


Visitation and Support Person Restrictions

We're taking extra precautions to keep our patients, teammates and community safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

General visitation is permitted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Visitors who do not leave at 9:00 p.m. will be reminded of the end of visiting hours or will need to check in with security personnel.

Please review the following support person guidelines.

Emergency Services, Surgical Services,  Inpatients,  ICU, Women's Services, and Rehab

Support persons will be allowed for all patients that are COVID negative per unit policy. 
  • Patients, support persons, and visitors who have no respiratory illness symptoms will be allowed to choose whether to mask, however masking is encouraged when visiting patients.
  • Support persons with respiratory illness symptoms will not be allowed to enter the facility.
  • Spiritual advisors are permitted.
  • Waiting rooms will be opened to patients and support persons.   However, they may be restricted during times of high volume at the discretion of the clinical teams and security personnel.

Support persons will be allowed for patients who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, however in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 the following restrictions apply:

  • Support person must adhere to wearing proper personal protective equipment (mask, gown, and gloves) during their visit.  
  • Support persons will be restricted to a 2 persons.
  • These same support persons may rotate presence as needed.
  • We ask that the support person minimize time in public spaces (examples: cafeteria, gift shop, waiting rooms) 
  • Support persons with respiratory illness symptoms will not be allowed to enter the facility.
  • Patients are always encouraged to keep their loved ones updated via telephone.   

Ambulatory and Doctors' Offices

  • Patients can be accompanied by support persons.
  • Patients and their support person will be screened for flu-like symptoms; those with symptoms will be directed to return to their vehicles and conduct a virtual visit.
  • Patients’ time in our waiting room will be kept to a minimum and all waiting rooms have been rearranged to optimize social distancing.


Imaging Services

Imaging services have resumed and to ensure the safety of our patients and teammates, we are implementing these safety measures: 

  • Patients will be contacted prior to their appointment to determine if they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors.
  • Each room will be sterilized before and after every procedure.
  • We have implemented an intensive seven-step cleaning protocol and are using the recommended CDC and EPA disinfectants and cleaning chemicals (like Sani-Cloth wipes) to clean all areas.
  • We are maintaining social distancing.

View a list of imaging and lab sites.


Masking Guidelines

  • Patients, support persons, and visitors will be allowed to choose whether to mask, however masking is encouraged when visiting an inpatient.
  • Ambulatory and ER patients being seen for a COVID-like illness or influenza-like illness are asked to remain masked, as tolerated, in consideration of other patients and our teammates.
  • Adjustments to these guidelines are permitted for populations needing stricter masking protocol, such as oncology infusion.


COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A - General Public

We are in an exciting and hopeful step in combating the pandemic. We are working closely with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and other state and federal agencies to offer the vaccine. 

Please visit this page frequently for the latest information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.


  1. Is the vaccine safe?
    Although the development time for COVID-19 vaccines has been considerable shortened compared to other vaccine development times, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has emphasized the same strict quality, safety and efficacy guidelines are being met. At this point, more than 70,000 patients are enrolled in the studies of the two leading vaccines, some of whom are teammates.

  2. Is the vaccine safe for people prone to allergies and allergic reactions?
    Those with severe allergic reactions should talk to their doctors before receiving the vaccine.

  3. Should I be cautious about receiving the vaccines if I have HIV or Cancer?
    People with these diagnoses are responding well to the vaccinations. Talk with your doctor to see if it’s right for you.

  4. Should individuals who are going through chemo get vaccinated?
    People receiving chemo haven’t been studied, but we’ve seen no reason not to get vaccinated so far.

  5. Can you die from the vaccine?
    Deaths reported around the time of vaccination appear to be coincidental and not caused by the vaccine. It’s incredibly rare.

  6. Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get vaccinated?
    Pregnant women haven’t been studied in clinical trials, but so far, we’ve seen no reason not to get vaccinated.

  7. Can people who are allergic to the flu vaccine get the COVID-19 vaccine?
    Yes, it’s not a dose of the live virus like the flu vaccine.

  8. Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

    None of the vaccines use the live coronavirus which causes COVID-19, so the vaccine cannot cause the disease. The goal of the vaccine is to teach our immune system how to recognize and “fight” the virus which causes COVID-19. Sometimes the process of getting vaccinated can cause mild fevers, muscle aches, soreness and headaches as your body’s immune system begins producing the protective antibodies to help defend you in case you are exposed to the virus.

    It takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after it receives a vaccination. Thus, a person could get sick with COVID-19 before or after they receive the vaccination, and this means they have not had enough time to develop an appropriate antibody response.

Side Effects

  1. Are there any side effects?

    For both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the side effects have been mild to moderate.

    After the first shot, the most common side effect was an injection site reaction such as a sore arm or redness. Side effects have been most common after the second dose and included fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, pain, fever and redness/pain at the injection site.

    Pfizer Vaccine information:

    Moderna Vaccine Information:

  2. What are the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
    Soreness and fatigue are most common. You could also get a fever, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches and nasal congestion, which normally last a day or two and respond well to over-the-counter medications.

  3. Do the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have different side effects?

  4. Are older people more prone to harsh side effects?

Phasing, Vaccine Availability & Logistics

  1. I don’t have insurance; can I be vaccinated?

  2. Not a registered citizen of the United States, can I be vaccinated?

  3. Can immunocompromised people be vaccinated?
    Yes. Anyone ages 12 and up can be vaccinated.

  4. Can I be vaccinated anywhere, or does it have to be in my state?

  5. How is Roper St. Francis Healthcare keeping track of the doses, and how do I know when to come back for my second dose?
    You’ll receive a vaccine administration card to remember your vaccination dates, and our team is logging all vaccination information into the statewide vaccine database. When you schedule your appointment with us, we’ll book your second dose at the same time.

  6. Are booster shots available?
    We will begin administering booster shots at our Express Care locations. We will be requiring these patients to present their vaccine card.

  7. Are second booster shots available? If so, how can I get mine?
    Yes. Federal regulators cleared the way for certain adults 50 and older to get a second booster dose of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. And we are administering second boosters. You can walk into any Express Care and get your second booster as long as you qualify based on emergency-use authorization. You can also get your second booster through your Roper St. Francis Physician Partners primary care physician.

  8. Do I need a second booster?
    At this time, anybody having the initial primary series and the first booster is considered “up-to-date” for COVID vaccines. If you have questions about whether you should get the second booster, call your primary care physician. There are a lot of factors that go into that decision, including history of COVID infections, which can boost immunity naturally, the prevalence of COVID in the community and risk factors you may have for developing severe COVID.


  1. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, should they still get the vaccine?
    We recommended people wait 90 days after having the virus before getting vaccinated.

  2. Why does the COVID vaccine require two shots?
    • Some vaccines need two shots to be most effective. In studies, Pfizer’s vaccine was 52% effective after the first shot and 95% after the second one.
    • We don’t know how effective a single shot for the vaccine would be in the long run or how long the immunity would last.
    • It’s also unclear how effective the vaccine is if you don’t follow the exact dosing timeline.

  3. Do all the COVID vaccines in development require two shots?
    • No — but many of them do.
    • Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for vaccines to require two, three or sometimes even four doses in order to be most effective. In fact, this is true for many of the first vaccines given to children, like hepatitis B, diphtheria, and tetanus.

  4. How effective is the first COVID-19 vaccine shot?
    When a vaccine requires two shots, the first shot helps your body recognize the virus and gets your immune system ready, while the second shot strengthens that immune response. This makes your body more prepared to fight infection.

  5. Do I need the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?

    People who have had COVID19 are recommended to wait at least 90 days after onset of symptoms prior to getting the COVID19 vaccine.

    Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

    At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

    We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

    Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

  6. Is it required to check antibodies levels after a year of having the vaccination?

  7. Can someone still get COVID-19 after getting the vaccine?
    Yes, but the symptoms are not as severe.

  8. How long does the vaccination last?
    Your antibodies peak two weeks after being vaccinated, but we’re unsure how often vaccinations will be required.

  9. If I’m unable to develop antibodies to other illnesses, does that mean I won’t be able to develop them against COVID?
    Talk to your doctor to see if it would be beneficial for you to receive an antibodies test after being vaccinated.

  10. Does being on steroids enhance the vaccines?

  11. If I’ve had the Covid-19 vaccine how long should I wait before having a mammogram or an imaging study done?
    To help prevent unnecessary testing, costs and concerns please avoid having a mammogram or any other imaging study 8 weeks after the 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

  12. How many African Americans were considered in the clinical trials?
    Ten percent of the trial participants were African American, which is an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

  13. Can you still donate plasma after being vaccinated?
    Most likely, yes.

  14. Is there an age cut off for vaccinations for younger children?
    At this time, clinical trials have only studied children 12 and older using the Pfizer vaccine.

  15. Does the vaccination protect against different strands or mutations of COVID-19?

  16. Can I only receive one dose and be protected against COVID?
    One dose makes you 50% less likely to contract a severe case of COVID-19; two doses ensure you’re fully protected.

  17. How has the process for developing and approving these vaccines moved so quickly?

    The process for developing, assessing safety and efficacy and manufacturing a vaccine typically takes years. The research and development on mRNA vaccines has been going on for 30 years and prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, there were other trials looking at mRNA vaccines for other infectious diseases. It is important to remember that it was the years of research, innovation and investment into the science behind this vaccine platform that allowed the scientific community to rapidly develop a COVID-19 vaccine and complete the clinical trials during the pandemic.

    Some of the reasons for the rapidity of the clinical trials include the public health emergency and the shortened timeline due to various innovations and government funding. Despite these differences from the usual vaccine clinical trials, it is important to remember that they did not affect or compromise the safety or scientific integrity of the clinical trials. Some of the changes made included the following:

    • Some clinical trials combined phase 1 and 2 to assess the safety and immune responses at the same time.
    • Due to the high numbers of COVID-19 cases, comparisons between the vaccine and placebo groups can be made quicker than during non-pandemic times.
    • Significant investment has been made in manufacturing large amounts of the vaccines prior to the results of phase 3 trials being finalized.

  18. How much will the vaccine cost? Will my insurance cover it?
    The federal government will cover the cost of the vaccine. However, health care providers may charge an office visit fee or a fee to administer the vaccine. Health insurance will most likely cover these fees. SC DHEC will work with other state agencies to determine how to offer the vaccine at no-cost for people without insurance.

  19. How do I get a replacement vaccination card?
    To get a replacement vaccination card, call 843-727-DOCS (3627).

Helpful links:


COVID-19 Testing

Our Roper St. Francis Express Cares are available for testing patients with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as any travel or school requirements. In order to be tested, you must have a physician's order. If you do not have an order, a provider on site will evaluate you and provide an order for a test. Hours for testing are daily from 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Patients should expect to have to enter the facility and wait to be tested. 


COVID Diagnostic Testing Fees

Test Description Cash Price
(Net of Self Pay Discount)
Cash Price
(Net of Self + Prompt Pay Discount)
COVID-19 Total Antibody $48.75 $41.25
SARS-COV-2-COVID-19 AMP PRB $104.00 $88.00


FAQs for COVID-19 Test Results

Positive COVID-19 Test

  1. How long do I need to quarantine with a positive result?
    Roper St. Francis Healthcare is following the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that shorten the recommended times that people should isolate when they've tested positive for COVID-19. The new guidelines reduce the isolation times from 10 days to five days if there are not symptoms. People should still wear a mask around others for at least five more days. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, your isolation period will be five days from symptom onset or positive diagnosis or until your symptoms have resolved

  2. If I don’t have symptoms am I contagious?
    Yes, if you have tested positive you are contagious. Stay quarantined for the 14 days.

  3. Do I need to notify people I have been in contact with? 
    Yes, if you can.

  4. At what point do I need to seek medical care if symptoms get worse.
    If your symptoms become much worse, especially if there is a sudden onset of shortness of breath.

  5. What about my family members in the house?
    Do not leave home. Avoid others in your residence. Disinfect surfaces regularly. Monitor for symptoms that may require hospitalization. Follow CDC guidelines for safety and care.

  6. If other family members have been exposed, should they be tested?
    If they’re not showing symptoms, call your primary care physician and inform them you are positive and seek their recommendations. If they are showing symptoms or feeling ill, they should be seen by a physician.  

  7. My child has sickle cell, what should I do? (This applies to any person having a chronic illness) 
    Call your pediatrician or primary care provider to receive guidance and follow-up care.  

  8. When can I expect to start to feel better?
    Expect to start feeling improvement towards the end of your second week of quarantine or shortly thereafter (or no less than 10 days from symptom onset and 72 hours after fever disappears if you have had a fever).

  9. Do I need to be re-seen after I've finished my quarantine?
    Only if you have developed symptoms you consider urgent or emergent.

  10. What about my animals are they safe.
    Just like with people you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick.

  11. I'm also a diabetic, what should I expect when taking medications prescribed by my physician. 
    Be aware of your diet and check your blood sugar regularly. Contact your primary care doctor for a diabetic plan of care.

  12. I'm pregnant, does this affect my baby.
    You should follow the advice of your OB/GYN and CDC guidelines for safety and care.

  13. What medications can I take? 
    You can take Tylenol or Motrin for fever and body aches. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and give yourself time to recover.

  14. When can I go back to work?
    If you have self-quarantined and remained isolated for the duration of 14 days, and are symptom free you can return to work.

Negative COVID-19 Test

  1. If I start to get symptoms do I need to get retested?
    That is up to you. At this point you have tested negative. We suggest that you stay quarantined until you feel better and do not have a fever for three days without taking fever reducing medications.

  2. How do I get a copy of my negative test results for my employer? 
    You can contact Medical Records to have them send you a copy of your results. If you have been seen in our ER, you will be emailed a note saying you are negative and instructions will be provided.

  3. When can I go back to work?
    If you have self-quarantined and remained isolated for the duration of 14 days, and are symptom free you can return to work. 


Donation of Critical Supplies

If you would like to make a donation of any kind (goods, food, etc.) please contact or call (843) 789-1616.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to support our caregivers and patients, please give to the Roper St. Francis Foundation.

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