Limited access to testing in rural communities

Limited access to testing in rural communities

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Only four counties in Georgia have no reported COVID-19 cases, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Health officials say one of the reasons for this is the lack of testing being done in the more rural areas.

Two of these four counties are Montgomery and Evans. Dr. Lawton Davis, with the Coastal Health District, says this doesn't necessarily mean there are no cases.

Access to testing in some areas, like a rural community, is limited and as Dr. Davis says there are fewer healthcare providers and medical resources as well. Even though there isn't a positive case listed in these two areas, he says it's safe to assume someone could have it.

In order to help these areas, Dr. Davis says the state is taking action, such as partnering with more labs to allow more production of specimen collection kits and making a contract with a lab in Atlanta to provide thousands of kits every day.

"It's true that in rural areas there may not be a specimen collection site. There's much less testing available and that likely accounts for the lack of reported positive cases in certain counties,” Dr. Davis said.

He said everyone should act as though they have it and avoid doing anything that could spread it to others. He says this is being personally responsible.

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