New York State helped perform almost 1,600 COVID-19 tests in Savannah

One of the New York State testing sites in Savannah.
One of the New York State testing sites in Savannah.(WTOC)
Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4:32 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - New York State’s testing sites were up and running for eight days in the Hostess City.

But while they were here, what did we learn?

New York State, Somos Community Care and Northwell Health brought not only PPE, but two COVID-19 testing sites free to the public. Their partnership meant a lot to Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

“It meant that New York State cared enough not only to send over 168,000 pieces of PPE, but more importantly 20 doctors and healthcare professionals that were in our city,” Mayor Johnson said.

The group was here for eight days but had to leave early due to the threat of the tropical storm. While they were here, they made a big impact testing 1,588 people with 162 of those positive leaving a 10.2 percent positive testing rate.

Mayor Johnson says the City of Savannah paid for our guests’ meals and transportation, but that was it. He’s grateful for their support and believes it made us better and stronger in the fight against COVID-19.

“We believe that this served as a really good release point for our health department. As we know the health department had been deluged with people lining up you know since we started doing testing in neighborhoods, we noticed that some of those numbers have gone down. The other thing is that we have still thousands of tests and PPE that we will be distributing throughout our community and I think most importantly this creates a template for us to recognize that testing is best when it’s done in neighborhoods where people can get to it,” Mayor Johnson said.

The mayor says Savannah’s partnership with New York will continue as they assess what comes next.

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