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Bulloch County and DPH Drive Thru COVID-19 Collection

Last updated on March 19, 2020

Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn, along with County Manager Tom Couch and Cindy Hart, Nursing and Clinical Director with SEDPH, announced the opening of a Drive-Thru Testing Center for the COVID-19 Virus at the Kiwanis Fair Grounds in Statesboro, Georgia.  The Southeast Health District will be operating the Specimen Point of Collection (SPOC) center at the Kiwanis Fair Grounds for COVID-19 testing for individuals who have been referred through their primary care provider.  They have not set the hours of operation for the center but it is fully staffed and ready to open as demand increases/or as it is needed.

Wynn explained that this partnership with the Southeast Health District was made possible because of the $100,000 of emergency funds set aside by the County Commission.  Having immediate access allowed Bulloch County to cut through a lot of red tape and move rapidly in establishing one of the state’s large scale Drive Thru Testing centers.

COVID-19 Center Not Open To Public

Cindy Hart, with SEDPH, explained that this center is NOT open for public visitation.  Everyone tested here must be referred through a primary care provider.  This is an tool to get more people tested more rapidly.  The center will be for collection only, and no results will be given immediately as they will be sent to an external lab system. Only people meeting specific criteria, who have been evaluated and gone through the screening/referral process through a primary care provider and received an ID number, will be sent to the center.

Hotline Established

The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic.

Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.

Hotline: (844) 442-2681

Tight Security

Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown addressed the media and shared the importance of privacy at these centers.  There will be heavy security during the operating hours and no media or citizens are allowed to take video images nor pictures while it is operating.  Respecting our citizen’s privacy in this delicate time is of upmost importance to me and my department”, said Sheriff Brown.  “The only people allowed on the grounds are citizens with an identification number for testing provided by their doctor.

Not a Vaccination Center – Testing Only

Currently, there is no vaccine available for COVID-19.

These are not vaccination centers – only collection centers to bring another testing opportunity to meet the needs of our community. This does not replace testing options through primary care providers and other health entities. The scale of the collection centers will be based upon the ever-evolving incident of COVID-19.

Through many trainings and exercises, public health has steadily worked to prepare themselves for a large-scale event and are prepared for this response.

Testing Center Priority

At this time, the Department of Public Health is prioritizing testing for those who are at higher risk for COVID-19 such as people over the age of 60 and those with chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease, hypertension and diabetes. Additionally, DPH stressed the importance in making sure test were available for healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement and others who come in contact every day with people who may be infected but are well and do not unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others.

Cindy Hart, reminded everyone that the best way to stop COVID-19 is to follow some basic prevention measures that could be used for any respiratory illness, including COVID-19.

Press Conference Live Video

Basic Prevention Tips

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and
water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and you develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have been in contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay
home and call your primary care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

No Symptoms

If you are not symptomatic, it is NOT necessary to reach out to a health care provider at this time. Please continue to practice the basic prevention tips listed above.

For accurate and reliable information about the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, please visit http://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

To know the current status of COVID-19 in Georgia, please visit DPH’s interactive tool at the following link: https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

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