SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Coastal Health District has expanded its COVID-19 testing at the Savannah Civic Center an extra two hours.
The Chatham County nurse manager said it’s simple; they want to be able to offer a test to anyone who wants one. With two additional hours of testing, they can test about 800 people a day.
“We’re trying to make the testing available to anyone who wants to be tested and so we figured if we extended the hours that might give opportunity for more people to come and get tested. We really want to get as many numbers as we can,” Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown said.
Health leaders say increasing testing helps give communities a better picture of the infection rate in a given area. Locally, Georgia DPH brought in contract staff to help with testing which allowed for the expansion testing about 800 people a day without overworking the Coastal Health District.
“We’re available we have the help to do it, we have the test kits available so there really is not any negative impact,” Brown said.
At one point, the demand for testing was so high Mayor Van Johnson partnered with the state of New York to bring additional collection sites. But just last week, Brown said the Coastal Health District conducted fewer tests than they have since mid-June which could impact their hours.
“It really is going to depend on the demand. If it seems like there is a demand to keep the hours we’ll keep them. This is our first week, if it doesn’t seem like the demand is there then we may not keep the hours,” Brown said.
One thing to note, leaders say while they are expanding testing, the return rate for results is slowing down. While they once saw a turnaround time of about 2-4 business days, right now it’s taking 5 to 6.
They say as you await results you should follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine.
Monday was the first day of the expanded hours. The district tested 606 people, and another 560 on Tuesday. So, neither day reached capacity.
If you want to get a test, it begins Monday thru Friday at 8:30 a.m. for walk-ups with cars to immediately follow until 3:30 p.m. They also will offer testing this Saturday from 8:30 until 11:30.
You just need your ID.