FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2020
CONTACT: Katie Hadden/Rebecca Reis
Southeast Health District to Provide Testing to Specified Individuals
The Southeast Health District will be opening Specimen Point of Collection (SPOC) centers for COVID-19 testing for individuals who have been referred through their primary care provider. 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 our 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 incident of 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.
We are 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, we need to make sure our 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 unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others.
We would like to remind you of some basic prevention measures that could be used for any respiratory illness, including COVID-19.
Basic Prevention Tips
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay 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 fever with 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 health care provider at this time. Please continue to practice the basic prevention tips listed above.
For accurate and reliable information about the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, 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.