Chatham Co. coronavirus testing site moves to the Savannah Civic Center

COVID-19 testing in the Savannah Civic Center.
COVID-19 testing in the Savannah Civic Center.(WTOC)
Updated: Jul. 6, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - COVID-19 testing in Chatham County moved to the Savannah Civic Center on Monday, July 6.

According to the Coastal Health District, the move in location is to help reduce wait times and help protect staff from the weather.

“It’s easier for us to communicate with one another, you know, if I need to get to the nurses I can. We’ve got a good flow for any law enforcement or first responders that come through so really, it’s a much better set up,” Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown said.

In addition to efficiency, the Civic Center also gets DPH staff out of the heat. A huge benefit after having to call EMS last week for an overheated worker.

With their new location, the Coastal Health District hopes to perform about 500 tests per day. They say they have plenty of testing kits and are getting results in two to four days.

Though it was just the first day, there were several traffic backups in downtown Savannah, health department leaders say they are monitoring the situation and if needed will go back to appointment based testing.

“At this moment it is show up if you need a test and appointments are not required. There is no cost, you don’t need to provide an insurance card or anything like that, just some identification. We are looking, we’re going to be looking at the flow this week and it is very possible that we will go to appointments like our sister counties. We just haven’t made that official decision yet, but that would give us a measure of control with the crowds as well,” Brown said.

As the demand for testing remains high, health department officials say their best advice is to arrive early and be patient. They say there are other testing options in our area, but you’ll want to check the cost and requirements beforehand.

An outline of the route needed for COVID-19 testing at the Savannah Civic Center.
An outline of the route needed for COVID-19 testing at the Savannah Civic Center.(Coastal Health District)

Drivers enter from Oglethorpe Avenue and queue in the Civic Center parking lot. The drive-through line will route cars into a sheltered cargo area inside the Civic Center where Health Department staff will collect specimens for testing. Drivers will then exit onto Liberty Street.

The Coastal Health District states the site will have the capacity to test 500 people each day. The drive-through line will close when the line reaches capacity.

Civic Center Testing Site Hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (or when line reaches capacity)
  • Alternating Saturdays: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., beginning July 18

All other counties in the Coastal Health District are transitioning to an appointment-only process.

Glynn County:

Beginning next week, the drive-through testing site at the Glynn County Health Department will be operational Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and alternating Saturdays.

On Monday, July 6, no appointment is required for testing, and the site will be operational from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. with the capacity to test 250 individuals. The drive-through will close when the line reaches capacity.

On Wednesday, July 8, testing will transition to appointment only. The health department will begin taking calls to schedule appointments on Monday at 8 a.m.

All Other Locations, by Appointment Only:

  • Richmond Hill: Expercare Urgent Care, 60 Exchange St. Suite B7, 7 days per week by appointment.
  • Pembroke: Bryan County Health Department, 430 Ledford St., weekly on Friday morning by appointment.
  • Camden County: Camden County Health Department, 905 Dilworth Street in St. Marys, weekly on Tuesday morning by appointment.
  • Effingham County: Effingham County Health Department, 802 Highway 119 South in Springfield, weekly on Friday morning by appointment.
  • Liberty County: Connection Church parking lot (behind the Liberty County Health Department) 116 Patriot Trail in Hinesville, Weekly on Friday morning by appointment.
  • Long County: Long County Health Department, 584 North Macon Street in Ludowici, weekly on Tuesday morning by appointment.
  • McIntosh County: McIntosh County Health Department, 1335 Georgia Hwy 57 in Townsend, weekly on Tuesday morning by appointment.

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