SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Coastal Health District is shifting to regional COVID-19 testing sites.
All COVID-19 testing services by the Coastal Health District will be offered at two regional testing sites starting Feb. 1.
All testing through public health will be offered in Chatham and Glynn counties. They will no longer offer testing in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties after this week.
It’s a change to enhance their vaccine capabilities.
“It’s not that the testing isn’t important, it’s just where are you going to focus your efforts and I think we need to shift at least temporarily and try to focus more on vaccine administration,” Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis said.
After juggling both COVID testing and vaccinations for more than a month, the Coastal Health District will now offer just two regional sites. By doing this their county health departments will free up an additional day for vaccinations.
“it will actually allow us to double the throughput in each of those smaller counties,” Dr. Davis said.
So far, the Coastal Health District has administered about 18,200 vaccinations and distributed nearly 8,200 doses. Dr. Davis says this additional day for vaccine distribution will help as they work to do first and second doses simultaneously.
“Generally, second doses go faster than first doses. The easy way to think about it is we will have two days for first doses and then one long day of second doses each week in those smaller counties,” Dr. Davis said.
He says they will continue to schedule vaccine appointments from their waitlist and are working on an online scheduling system as things are paused.
Testing at the Glynn County Health Department is by appointment only. Testing at the Savannah Civic Center in Chatham County does not require an appointment, but you must pre-register.
The COVID-19 Testing Call Center Hours will also change. Starting Monday, Feb. 1, the Testing Call Center will be operational from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday.
It’s important to note, COVID testing is still available through many private providers, pharmacies, urgent care centers, and health clinics.
For more information on COVID-19 testing, vaccine, or to pre-register, go to covid19.gachd.org.