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COVID-19 testing resumes at Savannah Civic Center after reaching limit, closing early Monday

Free COVID-19 testing by the Coastal Health District will resume at the Savannah Civic Center...
Free COVID-19 testing by the Coastal Health District will resume at the Savannah Civic Center beginning Monday, January 10, 2022.(WTOC)
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:15 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 8:55 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE - COVID-19 testing at the Savannah Civic Center reached its limit on Monday and had to close and not accept any new arrivals for the rest of the day.

The Civic Center testing site was the busiest they had seen on Monday, being the first day back open after testing halted there back in mid-December to accommodate scheduled events.

This is one of two sites the Coastal Health District has opened in Chatham County for testing. The other site is on Georgia Tech’s Savannah Campus. If you are looking to get tested, you need to pre-register before go. Then all you need to have is either the booking ID or QR code that you get when you pre-register. There is no cost for the test, and an appointment is not needed.

Testing at the Savannah Civic Center will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

One thing WTOC heard from the Coastal Health District and from people waiting in line is, staff was a little short at the Civic Center testing site, and that led to the longer-than-usual wait for the hundreds who showed up Monday morning.

Coastal Health District leaders say there will be more people working Tuesday than there were Monday. They added it sometimes takes some time to ramp personnel numbers back up, especially if staff at these sites get sick themselves.

To those who were turned away Monday morning or had to wait in line for hours, Coastal Health District leaders did apologize, and said if you are coming to any of the DPH sites, you need to pre-register to give those running testing an idea of how many people to expect. It also helps move the lines along a little faster.

WTOC asked Coastal Health District Health Director Dr. Lawton Davis if he thinks a testing mega site could be opened here eventually like they’ve opened in the metro Atlanta area.

“I wouldn’t say it’s inconceivable. I think we’re what, the fifth largest metro area in the state. If this thing keeps sky-rocketing, might take a look at that,” Dr. Davis said.

COVID testing is available at the Civic Center Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Testing will also be available the first and third Saturday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

People in Chatham County once again have another place to get tested for the coronavirus.

The Coastal Health District says the free COVID-19 testing site at the Savannah Civic Center will reopen beginning Monday, Jan. 10. Testing operations at the location were temporarily suspended because of previously scheduled events at the arena.

The testing site will now be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the first and third Saturday of the month from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Samples will be collected in the Civic Center’s parking lot.

The site offers PCR testing, which is more accurate than rapid antigen testing, but samples must be sent to a lab for analysis. Results are usually available in 36-48 hours. There is no cost for the test, and you do not need an appointment, but pre-registration is required. You can access registration links for all Coastal Health District testing sites at covidtestsavannah.com. For registration assistance, call the CHD COVID-19 testing hotline at 912-230-9744.

The Coastal Health District also offers a drive-through COVID-19 testing site on the Georgia Tech Savannah Campus at 210 Technology Circle. This site is open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

COVID-19 testing is also available through many area pharmacies, healthcare clinics, urgent care centers, and other providers. Please do not go to a hospital emergency room for testing unless you’re experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms requiring urgent medical attention. You can use a testing site locator on the Georgia Department of Public Health to see additional testing options, including those outside of public health, at dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.

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