The Southeast Health District has opened a specimen point of collection (SPOC) centers for COVID-19 testing for individuals who have been referred through their primary care provider. One such testing center is located in the parking lot of Coffee Regional Medical Center. It is a drive-through facility; those who will be tested will not leave their cars. The COVID-19 test is a swab procedure that will be conducted while individuals remain in their vehicles. The test takes less than one minute to complete.
The testing centers are not open for public visitation. The centers will be for collection only and no results will be given immediately as they will be determined through an external lab system.
Only people meeting specific criteria who have been evaluated and gone through the screening/referral process through a primary care provider and received an ID number will be sent to the centers. Currently there is no vaccine available for COVID-19. These are not vaccination centers – only collection centers to bring another testing opportunity to meet the needs of the community. This does not replace testing options through primary care providers and other health entities.
The scale of the collection centers will be based upon the ever-evolving incidence COVID-19. Through many trainings and exercises, public health has steadily worked to prepare themselves for a large-scale event and are prepared for this response.
Public health is prioritizing testing for those who are at higher risk for COVID-19 such as people over the age of 60 and those with chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Additionally, public health staff need to make sure healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement, and others who come in contact every day with people who may be infected are well and do not knowingly spread COVID-19 to others.
Public health staff would like to remind everyone of some basic prevention measures that could be used for any respiratory illness, including COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and you develop a fever with a cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have been in contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your primary care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. If you are not symptomatic, it is not necessary to reach out to a healthcare provider at this time. Please continue to practice the basic prevention tips listed above.
For accurate and reliable information about this evolving situation, please visit http://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. To know the current status of COVID-19 in Georgia, please visit DPH’s interactive tool at the following link: https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.