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The impulse to save our most cherished moments is a powerful force. When you ask people to choose three possessions to save from a burning house, one of the most common answers is a photo album.

Maybe that’s because photographs tell the stories of our lives – a timeline of memories filled with faces we love and places we have been. Photos speak directly to our emotions; they capture our attention and give us the power to show people who we are and what we do.

When composed professionally, they shine a light on our personalities, relationships, and families. After all, every human emotion has a place in photography.

Whether you need to steal someone’s attention with a stunning headshot or want to save your most loving family moments, I can help.

My name is Adam Chandler, and as a professional photographer in Bluffton, SC I delight in the adventure of photography. I constantly immerse myself in whatever genre I’m shooting and seek new ways of bonding with my subjects to provide them with a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Unlike other photographers, I use my technical knowledge of photography, ability to connect with people, and artistic creativity to produce memorable photos for my clients. I believe that providing folks with a client-centric experience sets me apart from other photographers in Bluffton.

Some professionals may be wonderful composers but cannot understand what their customers want. Others are great at connecting but don’t have the training or experience to make their work truly special.

When you choose Adam Chandler Photography, rest assured that you are hiring a photographer with creativity, imagination, and a keen eye for detail. You won’t ever have to worry about sacrificing one quality for another.

I have a wide range of professional experience in the world of photography. I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of subjects, from local families to corporate business professionals in the Lowcountry. As a photographer in Bluffton with more than a decade of experience, my top priority is not only to capture beautiful images but also to provide you with a relaxing, enjoyable photography session.

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Now that you know a little about my background, let’s take a look at some of
my most popular photography services in Bluffton:

Our Company Mission Is To Exceed Expectations

Our Company Mission Is To Exceed Expectations

Your family is probably the single most important part of your life. From children to grandparents, and even nieces and nephews, building a strong family bond secures your legacy for the future.

You will grow and change with your family throughout life and encounter many memorable milestones along the way.  One of the best ways to document these milestones and relive your memories is with a family photo session.

I love family photography and strive to pour my soul and creativity into each shoot. While each session is different, I approach each one with the same goal: to capture the unique personality, affection, and energy of each family so I can provide authentic, engaging pictures and a uniquely fun experience.

Whether you have a newborn baby that you want to celebrate or have grandparents in town for a visit, Bluffton is an amazing city for family photography. There are so many locations in the Lowcountry that make for great family photography backdrops:

  • Beaches – Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island, Hilton Head, Edisto Beach
  • Popular Places – Washington Square, Broad Street, Ravenel Bridge
  • Historical Sites – Bluffton Battery, Fort Sumter, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Rainbow Row

Whatever location you choose for family photography in Bluffton, the Holy City is a wonderful place in which to immerse yourself with friends and family.

As a family photographer in Bluffton, one of the reasons why I love working with families so much is the opportunity to get creative. I gladly accommodate the style preferences my clients are looking for – be it more traditional, posed images, or candid, playful pictures.

I use a relaxed style of direction to get your family engaged in our photography session, to help get authentic expressions that are full of life and happiness.

Here are just a few reasons why families choose Adam Chandler Photography for their family portraits:

Document Family Growth

With each year that passes, we grow – both literally in size and also in mind. Having annual family photographs helps document the advancements and growth you have in life. Family photography in Bluffton is a great way to remember the quirks or personality traits in your children, or to immortalize an important event like a high school graduation. Since we grow and change so fast, many families arrange for yearly family photo sessions to see their family’s growth year over year.

Remember Milestones

With each year that passes, new milestones are achieved. From a child’s first steps to a sibling getting married, there is no better way to remember such happy events than with photographs. Whether you are welcoming a new puppy into your life or just landed the job of your dreams, celebratory pictures of your family will give you heartwarming memories for the rest of your life.

Create Memories

The smiling, radiant face of your daughter after losing her first tooth. The loving glance between newlyweds. The happy father, beaming with pride after his son scored his first touchdown. As a professional photographer in Bluffton, SC, drawing out these feelings and emotions and capturing them on film is one of my greatest joys. Not because the pictures are great, but because you, as my client, will have so many years of enjoyment looking back at them.

Portraits And Headshots In Bluffton, SC

A great headshot shows you at your best – whether you want to impress a prospective employer or need professional photography for your website. In today’s world of digital dominance, having a professional headshot or portrait of your team is becoming a necessity. It’s no surprise, then, that headshots and portraits are among the most popular genres of photography.

Headshots can be tricky, mostly because many humans just aren’t very photogenic. I know that for some clients, it can be hard posing for a professional photo; knowing their headshot or portrait might make the rounds with future employers.

Fortunately, I have years of experience taking professional headshots. Unlike some amateur photographers, I know how to draw out your personality to capture you at your best. I know how to compose your portrait based on the industry you work in or the goal that you have with your photoshoot. Clients choose Adam Chandler Photography because I advise them every step of the way – from the clothes they should wear to the expression they should have.

A professional headshot or portrait is an investment into your personal brand, and here is why:

Portraits And Headshots In Bluffton, SC
Show Your Personality

Show Your Personality

A great headshot can help give people an idea of your personality before you sit down to meet them. For instance, a serious glance at the camera might convey determination. A big smile may say “I’m approachable.” My goal is to match your expression with your personality with every headshot or portrait I take.

Show Your Professionalism

Show Your Professionalism

Clients, collaborators, investors, and employers are much more likely to interview you or call your business if you look professional. You have taken the time to invest in your brand, and the important people you’re sharing your headshot with will appreciate your effort.

Stand Out on Social Media

Stand Out on Social Media

Many of my clients make appointments for headshots and portraits when they want to stand out from the crowd on social media. Whether you own a business and need to create new social media pages or you are looking to network with recruiters on LinkedIn, a headshot lends an air of professionalism that you won’t get with a selfie.


Show Off Your Current Look

Show Off Your Current Look

Having outdated headshots can send a message of inauthenticity. When you have up to date headshots, you’re showing clients and employers that you are confident, committed, and authentic.

Show Your Personality

Qualities Of A Great Photographer In Bluffton, SC

Being a great photographer means more than owning the best pieces of camera equipment. While a great camera gives clients the clearest, highest quality photos available, it won’t help me connect with my subjects. I strive to give clients a fun, enjoyable photo session. I use my knowledge and experience to help set up the perfect shot. After connecting with my client, I draw out their personality to produce a stunning final product.

Clients choose Adam Chandler Photography because I am different from my peers in the best ways possible. Here are just a few qualities that my clients appreciate:

Imagination

Imagination

I consider photography to be an artform – one that requires a creative mind and heaps of imagination. A great photographer needs to be able to take something ordinary and transform it into something beautiful. A back-alley puddle is about as mundane as it gets, but with the right technique and a little imagination, it can turn into something with much more substance.

Passion

Passion

This quality might seem like a no-brainer to most, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen photography that is missing something. More often than not, the photographer isn’t passionate about the subject or model that he or she is photographing.

Patience

Patience

Patience is an essential quality for all great photographers. Some days, picture lighting won’t cooperate. Other days, it’s hard to get that big happy smile from younger clients. That’s why patience and flexibility are so important. As a professional with years of experience, I understand that I must have the patience to deal with whatever comes my way and the flexibility to make the most out of any situation.


People Skills

People Skills

All photographers are created differently. Some photographers are more aloof and put in the bare minimum effort when it comes to speaking with clients. Others, like myself, relish the opportunity to talk with customers. That’s because interacting with subjects allows me the chance to see their vision and transform their idea into art. Talking with subjects lets me draw out their emotions and put younger subjects at ease. People skills are a must in this industry. Luckily for me, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job

Eye for Detail

As a professional photographer in Bluffton, SC I am meticulous when it comes to details. Every element of a photograph should be reviewed to ensure cohesiveness. You might think that a family photo session is cut and dry in terms of composition and detail, but all elements of a photograph must come together to convey the vision that my clients desire.
When you hire me as your photographer, I take all the following elements into consideration:

  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Emotion
  • Storytelling

If you have a goal you want to construe with your photographs, helping you achieve that goal is often found in the details.


Eye for Detail
adam

I am proud to say that I am very passionate about my work. However, I’m also passionate about giving my clients the most enjoyable, care-free photography experience possible. My passion drives me to work harder, push farther, and strive to be better every day that I wake up.

Adam Chandler

Ready to Get Started?

One of my favorite things to do is to talk to clients about their vision. If you are in need of professional photography, let’s talk today about what you have in mind. Whether you’re looking for family photography in Bluffton or want new headshots for your employees, I am here to help every step of the way.  

Latest News in Bluffton

‘Stop speeding’: Let Bluffton buzzards run the unappreciative masses out of town

Y’all be quiet.Babbie Guscio, the Mona Lisa of Bluffton’s artsy Calhoun Street, has something important to say.“Can I ask a very simple uncomplicated request......stop speeding on Calhoun Street…Bridge Street....all of the little lanes....in old town......this is really getting to be a problem...I wish no ill will.....stop...park your gorgeous hunk of junk...enjoy Bluffto...

Y’all be quiet.

Babbie Guscio, the Mona Lisa of Bluffton’s artsy Calhoun Street, has something important to say.

“Can I ask a very simple uncomplicated request......stop speeding on Calhoun Street…Bridge Street....all of the little lanes....in old town......this is really getting to be a problem...I wish no ill will.....stop...park your gorgeous hunk of junk...enjoy Bluffton....remember...we are used to mules and wagons....and people who walk and enjoy life at a slow pace...I think that may be the reason you came here...”

Babbie has been watching the pace of Calhoun Street for 40 years from her store, cleverly called The Store.

The pace has raced from dogs sleeping in the street to, I guess, mules and wagons. From the tricycle Easter parade to farmers market. From people stopping in cars to chat, to people driving like Manhattan cabbies.

Babbie posted that plea on her Facebook page. It created more waves than the “Lowcountry” armada ripping through the No Wake Zone down the street on the May River.

“Bridge Street posse unit!” one friend replied. “I will gladly help put out speed bumps/humps! Or fill up a pellet gun and sit on my porch.”

“Seriously,” said another. “How about literally everywhere lately. This little town has way too many people in a damn hurry.”

Here are some of the running themes:

Not long ago Bluffton was famous for nailing anyone going over the infamous 30-mph speed limit. Why not now?

Even if you want to walk, or ride a bike, good luck. You often have to share the road with the frantic drivers.

But the bigger issue seems to be this:

No one loves us for who we are.

And they won’t slow down or get out of their speeding cars and boats long enough to even try to find out who we are, or who we hope we are.

It’s as if we invited a few friends over for an oyster roast and a Black Sabbath concert broke out.

In truth, we invited more than a few friends over, and they invited a few of their friends, and when we said “sand bar,” they heard “mosh pit.”

Here’s how one outsider saw us 40 years ago.

Bluffton was the cover story in an Atlanta Constitution Sunday magazine spread, featuring a photo of young Babbie and her funky store with its slow-world name.

Writer Emma Edmunds looked around Bluffton in 1982 and observed:

“Its most urban feature is a policeman who sits ready to siren down anyone who speeds through town trying to escape the tar-paper shacks, ugly service stations and houses that look mildewed and in need of Lysol.

“Blufftonians — in their snobby way — hope outsiders pass right along and don’t discover the beautiful May River, the true heart of town. ‘It’s our protection,’ they say of the ugly S.C. 46 that tourists travel.”

It’s fair to say that chapter of Lowcountry life has been closed.

But here’s a suggestion.

Remember the man on Hilton Head Island who got tired of people speeding through his quiet neighborhood?

He patrolled Point Comfort Road in a chicken suit, pointing a radar gun at passing cars and holding up a sign that said “Slow The Cluck Down.”

And remember the times Bluffton’s mayor dressed as a buzzard in the Christmas parade?

What if hordes of Bluffton people roamed the streets dressed as buzzards, armed with radar guns, holding up edgy signs, spraying Lysol?

Maybe the jet set would think we’re crazy.

And leave.

David Lauderdale may be reached at LauderdaleColumn@gmail.com.

Lowcountry family looks to give back even as son fights for his life

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Your son is diagnosed with a heart problem while still in the womb. Do you cry? Give up?Or do you fight not just for yourselves, but others?That’s exactly what the Williams family is doing, even as their son Joey fights for his life.Joey was diagnosed with hyperplastic left heart syndrome while still in the womb. He has had eight surgeries, including six open-heart surgeries so far, and he is only 5 years old.Now Joey is on the heart transplant list.“Let’s not...

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Your son is diagnosed with a heart problem while still in the womb. Do you cry? Give up?

Or do you fight not just for yourselves, but others?

That’s exactly what the Williams family is doing, even as their son Joey fights for his life.

Joey was diagnosed with hyperplastic left heart syndrome while still in the womb. He has had eight surgeries, including six open-heart surgeries so far, and he is only 5 years old.

Now Joey is on the heart transplant list.

“Let’s not allow this devastating news to take over our mindset and let’s just focus on all the great moments we can possibly have,” said LaKesha Williams. “You just really look at life completely different.”

Joe and Lakeshia Williams said they appreciate the small things every day they have with their son Joey and his four sisters.

With those four other kids needing a mom and dad, and treatments at MUSC in Charleston, every day became a challenge, and they needed help.

“A lot of people don’t think about what the family sacrifices in order to support their children,” said LaKesha. “We were more than two hours away and we were one of the closest families coming to MUSC.”

“We have met families that unfortunately lost their homes, lost their vehicles, lost their jobs.”

The Ronald McDonald House, United Way and others stepped up for the Williams family.

“If it was not for those different organizations that assisted us, I don’t know how we would have done it,” LaKesha said as she began to tear up. “For someone to just say come over here and say ‘I got this for you.’ It was such a blessing and so inspiring for us.”

The hard work and goodwill of those agencies spurred on an idea for the Williams — how can we help other families in need?

“Our mission is to establish a support system that provides resources for families dealing with long-term hospital care,” explained Joe Williams.

The family created the Joe Lewis Williams III Brave of Heart Foundation. Not to help pay their bills, but for other families.

“We want to make families feel like they are at home away from home,” said Joe. “To assist them through lodging, transportation, meal tickets.”

“It was those times when we really didn’t know where it was going to come from,” remembers LaKesha. “And to be able to give another family other parent’s that stress relief or just another moment. because it’s truly not a day to day thing it is a moment-by-moment thing.”

“If we can take that financial burden off of these families then they can just focus on the health of their child.”

“We truly want to be there we know what it is like and we want to be that shoulder to lean on and sometimes we have to hold each other up.”

The Williams short-term goal is to help families with whatever they need outside of the hospital to make it a little easier.

Long-term, they hope to raise enough money to aid with medical expenses and even create a home in Charleston for families to stay while their child recovers.

If you would like to learn more or donate to the Joe Lewis Williams III Brave of Heart Foundation visit braveofheartfoundation.org.

Bluffton SC Residents Get All-Around Dental Care

Bluffton, SC – Residents of Bluffton, South Carolina get to enjoy comprehensive professional care with Off-Island Dental.The dental company is the best Dentist Near Me Bluffton, SC. The team is headed by award-winning dentist Dr. Michael Langehans, who has gained a reputation for helping his patients achieve “the perfect smile” by restoring missing and damaged teeth...

Bluffton, SC – Residents of Bluffton, South Carolina get to enjoy comprehensive professional care with Off-Island Dental.

The dental company is the best Dentist Near Me Bluffton, SC. The team is headed by award-winning dentist Dr. Michael Langehans, who has gained a reputation for helping his patients achieve “the perfect smile” by restoring missing and damaged teeth using the latest dental implant technology. Besides being a go-to dentist, Langehans is also an active community volunteer.

The hands-on company owner is likewise joined by an equally talented group of dental professionals. Clients can surely get a warm welcome during their visit from the front office assistants to their dental assistants and dental hygienists to their office managers. The team also has bilingual team members, allowing them to communicate to more varied customers.

As soon as clients walk into their office, they will immediately notice how clean, comfortable, and sanitary everything is. Off-Island Dental’s first goal is to ensure client safety and comfort. “We can deliver excellent care by leveraging cutting-edge technology that has been designed with safety and efficiency in mind,” they say.

Off-Island Dental Dental Care likewise pledges a wide range of Dental Services in Bluffton, SC. The list includes cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, same-day crowns, bridges, dentures, veneers, and professional whitening. To get a complete list of services they offer, clients can check it on their website at https://www.offislanddental.com/.

With their years in the industry, the Off-Island Dental team promises dental expertise. The team is always learning new things about dentistry, technology, and therapies to provide patients with the most up-to-date treatment alternatives.

“We are committed to regularly attending continuing education seminars to maintain our clinic’s current and cutting-edge dentistry. We want you to know that you’re being cared for by the most qualified and educated workforce available,” the Off-Island Dental team states.

Another important offering by Off-Island Dental is their special Dental Discount Plan. The plan includes regular dental cleaning with a $5.00 discount and a 20% discount for most dental treatments. This particular discount plan also includes dental exams and x-ray services.

To find out more about Off Island Dental’s treatment plans, Bluffton SC residents can call (843) 815-7844 or send an email to offislanddental@gmail.com. Bluffton’s most trusted dental care clinic is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM every Monday to Thursday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM, and every Friday by appointment. Off-Island Dental is located at 1 Sherington Dr # H, Bluffton, SC 29910.

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For more information about Off-Island Dental Care, contact the company here:

Off-Island Dental Care Dr. Michael D. Langehans, D.M.D. (843) 815-7844 cosmeticdentistsc@gmail.com 1 Sherington Dr # H, Bluffton, SC 29910

New development in Bluffton frustrates the neighbors. What happened to all the trees?

Lauren Fabbri, a resident of The Landings at New Riverside, used to wake up in the morning and watch the birds fly out of a forested area in front of her house. “I thought I had the best view in the neighborhood,” she said.Seven months after Fabbri moved in, the sound of birds was replaced with a high-pitched sawing, followed by a thud. The trees began to disappear to make room for The Villages at New Riverside, a collection of town homes, busin...

Lauren Fabbri, a resident of The Landings at New Riverside, used to wake up in the morning and watch the birds fly out of a forested area in front of her house. “I thought I had the best view in the neighborhood,” she said.

Seven months after Fabbri moved in, the sound of birds was replaced with a high-pitched sawing, followed by a thud. The trees began to disappear to make room for The Villages at New Riverside, a collection of town homes, businesses and apartment complexes.

Despite a legal addendum to the planning documents detailing the possibility of additional construction, Landings residents say they felt blindsided by the way the construction has taken place, decimating thousands of trees that created a natural buffer and gave them privacy and safety.

In February 2020, the Bluffton Town Council approved the master plan to build the development on the southeast corner of New Riverside Road and S.C. 46. The development will have a business complex and housing, as well as places to shop and eat.

Residents of The Landings who were building their homes knew that a development was going up next to them, according to a neighborhood disclosure put in place September 2020.

The addendum states that the property is a mixed-use community being developed by various parties and could include but not be limited to residential, commercial, governmental and recreational uses. The addendum also highlighted that there is no guarantee that the view from the property will remain unchanged.

Fabbri and Kate Lee, another resident of The Landings, said they signed an agreement saying they understood this. However, they were unaware of what was happening until all the trees were being cut down.

Residents also say the apartments were not part of the original plans, although the addendum signed by the original homeowners outlined that the mixed-use development could include single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums and apartments.

Lee and Fabbri said the combination of the lack of trees as well as the three-story apartment buildings that tower over their homes will diminish their privacy and security.

Landings residents said they feel betrayed by the Town of Bluffton.

Kevin Icard, Bluffton’s director of growth management, said the development has been in the works for 20 years and that residents were aware a development would be built there.

“The developer on the other side is doing nothing wrong,” Icard said. “They’re following their approved master plan that was approved by the town council.”

Icard also said the 50-foot buffer in question is the responsibility of The Landings developer, Pulte homes. He said the buffer is not required, and although the 50 feet of space will be maintained, the developer does not have to keep the tree line that once existed.

“A required buffer means you have to have a certain amount of trees and shrubs in that buffer,” Icard said.

Lee, who said her day-to-day life has been diminished by the coming development, said her toddler would often wake up and marvel at the squirrels and deer outside, but now asks questions about the tractors and doesn’t want to play outside because of the loud noises.

Lee’s home in The Landings is her first, and she said what mainly attracted her were the trees surrounding the complex.

“Since they started construction, I cry everyday,” she said.

MaryLou and Roger Sodora decided to move to Bluffton while on a drive from Hilton Head Island to Savannah.

MaryLou is a nature lover, and she said she would watch deer approach bird feeders in their backyard every day. She hasn’t seen any since construction began.

Unlike Lee and Fabbri, the Sodoras did not sign the addendum because they were the only people in The Landings to buy the house as a resell, instead of constructing it themselves. They had no idea the construction would take place, she said.

After the trees disappeared, the couple said they don’t feel as safe. Now, it’s much easier to get into the neighborhood. More strangers have been walking around the neighborhood inspecting cars, they said.

When Fabbri complained to Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka about watching from the porch as trees dropped, the mayor said her development could plant fast-growing, inexpensive shrubs and trees to make up for what was cut down.

Many residents say they don’t oppose development, but “one on top of another” worries them. Fabbri said Bluffton seemed to treat residents as an afterthought as it considered the opportunity to generate money from this new development.

Lee said if she’d known it was going to be like this, she never would’ve bought her home.

“No one came out to talk to us. No one is offering any solutions to help us get through this,” she said. “We didn’t know how bad it was going to get.”

Free COVID-19 testing clinics scheduled in Beaufort Co. as infections soar. When, where?

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There’s some good news for Beaufort County residents who are frantically searching for COVID-19 tests amid the omicron surge.

A free, public testing site on Hilton Head Island will reopen Monday and is now scheduled to operate once a week until the end of February (excluding a few weeks when there’s a holiday on a Monday), said Tom Dunn, the town’s emergency manager.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control runs the north-end site, which is located at Fire Station 4, 400 Squire Pope Road.

Dunn confirmed this week that the DHEC site will continue to offer free polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests.

PCR tests are more sensitive than rapid antigen tests, but it also takes a longer amount of time for residents to get PCR test results back.

DHEC, as of early Friday, said the average turnaround time for PCR test results in South Carolina was two to three days, but in some cases the turnaround times were five to seven days.

The agency’s Hilton Head testing site will be open on Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Dunn said. A doctor’s referral and an appointment are not required.

The town on Friday also announced that it had partnered with BrightStar Care, a Bluffton-based home health care provider, to host free PCR drive-thru testing at Chaplin Community Park, 11 Castnet Drive, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting the week of Jan. 10.

Although it is not required, clinic organizers recommend that people pre-register for testing at the Chaplin site: bit.ly/HiltonHeadTesting

“Times and days may be adjusted over time based upon public response/need for tests,” town spokeswoman Carolyn Grant wrote in a text.

A spokeswoman for Beaufort Memorial Hospital, meanwhile, confirmed this week that the medical center may host free drive-thru testing clinics on a pop-up basis, when there’s a need.

The hospital had previously shuttered its free testing clinic in Beaufort due to a drop in demand.

That was just before omicron began to pummel South Carolina, leading to record-breaking case counts.

There’s recently been a surge of interest in coronavirus tests as the super contagious variant races through the population. Rapid at-home testing kits are flying off pharmacy shelves, and residents have reported long lines at testing sites.

Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s chief epidemiologist, told reporters Wednesday that DHEC is “exploring all options” to alleviate the testing wait times.

“With the numbers of cases that we’re seeing,” Bell said, “there’s just limitations in how to meet that demand. We are working to do that but ... I just again want to ask the community to help us out of the position that we’re in. We can reduce the demand for testing if we reduce activities that lead to (disease) spread.”

Bell added that DHEC is “privy to the same information” that the public currently has on President Joe Biden’s recent pledge to send 500 million free, at-home COVID-19 tests to people nationwide.

“We have not heard anything regarding the types or the brands of tests, nor how they will be ordered or shipped,” Bell said.

DHEC, meanwhile, in a Friday tweet wrote that it has ordered nearly 500,000 rapid tests “to distribute in our communities in the coming days and weeks that should help reduce wait and reporting times.”

Details on the state plan were not immediately available.

For context: There were 42,790 viral test results recorded on Wednesday alone in South Carolina. Roughly 12,500 of those, or about 29%, were positive for COVID-19.

(Beaufort County’s average percentage of daily positive tests in the past week, as of Wednesday, was 28.3%, according to DHEC. There were 1,040 viral test results recorded in the county Wednesday. Almost 360 of those, or about 34.3%, were positive.)

Dr. Faith Polkey, interim chief medical officer at Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, in a Wednesday interview said that since last week, at least one in three patients coming in for coronavirus tests at BJHCHS locations has been positive for COVID-19.

“I’ve noticed that it’s been people who had gatherings, either over Christmas or New Year’s,” Polkey said, “and even if they were smaller, there would be just one person out of the gathering, it would be a grandkid that came to visit their grandparents, (that) ended up having a positive test. ... That’s been a lot of the pattern I’m seeing.”

Many patients, Polkey added, have a runny nose, a sore throat, a cough or nasal congestion (or a combination of those symptoms).

Omicron, Polkey said, seems to infect cells in the upper respiratory system more easily than those in the lungs.

It’s almost like “they have a little cold,” Polkey said of patients. “I think that’s the deceptive part, the scary part.”

Beaufort County’s seven-day average of newly confirmed cases, as of Friday, was 148 infections per day.

Two weeks ago, that average was 23 cases per day.

DHEC has an online map that shows COVID-19 testing sites in Beaufort and Jasper counties: bit.ly/SCTestingMap

Other than the site on Hilton Head, there are several free testing clinics that will be open across the Lowcountry in the coming days, according to the map. None requires doctor’s referrals or appointments.

The Bluffton Public Health Department will host a clinic Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 4819 Bluffton Parkway.

The Beaufort County Health Department has scheduled three clinics at 601 Wilmington St. in Beaufort: one will be held Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; one will be held Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and another will be held Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Jasper County Health Department is hosting a clinic Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 651 Grays Highway in Ridgeland.

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