According to Georgia Public Broadcasting, effective immediately, all Georgians can now get tested for COVID-19 if they are symptomatic, according to the state health department.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced expanded testing criteria earlier this week, and criticized the state’s lag in testing.

“Despite our partnerships and undeniable progress, our testing numbers in Georgia continue to lag,” he said. “We need to be firing on all cylinders to prepare for the days and weeks ahead.”

Health care workers, first responders, law enforcement and long-term care facility residents and staff will still be prioritized for testing regardless of whether they are or are not symptomatic, DPH spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said.

While referrals are still required to visit a specimen collection site, patients can get those referrals from their local health department or from a health care provider.

This new testing criteria is much broader.  We have continued to receive complaints from Bulloch County residents who are certain they have COVID-19 but could not get tested.  This will help give a much more accurate idea of the real number of COVID-19 cases in our community and across the state.

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...