By Dave Williams
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - A mobile COVID-19 testing unit will begin rotating between the Augusta area, Milledgeville and Tifton starting Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Sunday.
The new initiative is an effort to increase access to testing for coronavirus in parts of Georgia where tests have not been readily available , Kemp said.
“Serving Augusta, Milledgeville, Tifton, and the surrounding regions, this mobile unit will be a game-changing step in our efforts to ensure access to COVID-19 across Georgia,” the governor said. "Increased testing is critical as we continue the measured process of safely reopening parts of our state.”
The new drive-through sites will be supported by Walmart, eTrueNorth – a federal health-care contractor - and state and local officials.
The sites will test Georgians who are showing signs of COVID-19 as well as first responders, whether or not they have symptoms of the virus. While appointments can be made at www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com, on-site scheduling also will be available.
Those being tested should remain in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria and an ID check. The test will not be available to people on foot.
A self-administered nasal swab will be used to conduct the test. However a trained medical professional will observe to make sure the test is done correctly.
Processing of tests will be handled by eTrueNorth, which will send results to those tested. The sites will be staffed by volunteers, including Walmart health-care professionals and eTrueNorth team members.
Weather permitting, tests will be conducted Mondays and Tuesdays at Diamond Lakes Regional Park in Hephzibah, Wednesdays and Saturdays across from 240 Lawrence Road in Milledgeville, and Thursdays and Fridays at the Tift County National Guard Armory in Tifton.
By Dave Williams