COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Georgia Department of Public Health announced a change to testing procedures in the West Central Health District.
Beginning July 13, the department will move to appointment only testing for coronavirus cases. DPH officials say the change is a result for “the extreme demand for COVID-19 testing.”
Due to the change, patients who seek a COVID-19 test must pre-register online, then select an appointment time for a test site location in their county. Anyone who has come into direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus is encouraged to get tested.
According to a statement from the department, testing is recommended if “you are a DIRECT contact of someone who has COVID-19 and you have waited at least 10 days since being exposed OR you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19.”
Residents are able to register for appointments now, and some locations have already been scheduled ahead for several days, according to health officials. To be tested at a Georgia health department, the resident must live in Georgia, but does not have to be symptomatic for the coronavirus.
The GaDPH says symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Muscle Pain
- Shortness of Breath
- Soar Throat
- Repeated Shaking with Chills
- Congestion or runny nose
- New Loss of Taste or Smell
“Our staff have been working overtime to accommodate our residents, and we must ensure their safety”, said Dr. Beverley Townsend, District Health Director. “Our team would like to ensure that all other public health services are still available to our residents.”
Testing in Muscogee County will be held Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the parking lot behind the Columbus Health Department on 11th Avenue. Testing is free at any health department location.
There are testing sites at other locations, including urgent care centers, drug stores, and pharmacies.
County Health Departments offer drive-through collection at the following locations:
- Chattahoochee County (Cusseta) – Tuesday and Thursday, Every other Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday by appt. only 706-989-3663
- Clay County (Fort Gaines) – Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 229-768-2355
- Crisp County – off site- J.R Dowdy Building, 1129 N 5th Street, (Cordele). Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 229-276-2680
- Dooly County (Vienna) – No testing until further notice. 229-268-4725
- Harris (Hamilton) – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 706-628-5037
- Macon (Oglethorpe) – Tuesday, Thursday Friday 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 478-472-8121
- Marion (Buena Vista) – Monday and Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 229-649-5664
- Quitman (Georgetown) – Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 229-334-3697
- Randolph (Cuthbert) – Monday, Thursday, Friday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 229-732-2414
- Schley (Ellaville) – Monday and Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 229-937-2208
- Stewart (Lumpkin) – Wednesday and Friday Every other Monday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday by appt. only 229-838-4859
- Sumter (Americus) – Monday and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 229-924-3637
- Talbot (Talbotton) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 706-786-6410
- Taylor (Butler) – Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 478-862-5628
- Webster (Preston) – Monday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 229-828-3225