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COVID-19 test results back for more than 1,000 tested free at Good News Clinics
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Free COVID-19 testing at Good News Clinics Tuesday, April 28, 2020. - photo by Scott Rogers

About 22% of the 1,020 people tested recently at Good News Clinics were positive for COVID-19.

The nonprofit clinics and Northeast Georgia Health System hosted a free COVID-19 testing drive-thru April 28, with 224 testing positive, according to Liz Coates, director of the clinics.

She did not have data on the percentage of those patients that were asymptomatic. 

“This is far better than the first smaller one that we did,” Coates said. “To me, it’s great to look at the one event but also great to look at the bigger picture.” Almost half of those testing at a similar event April 19 were positive. 

Together, 1,356 people were tested for free, with 374 testing positive. That’s a 28% overall positive rate.

Although NGHS covered the cost of testing, Coates said the events still proved expensive for Good News Clinics. 

“Our role in the testing event was not only to provide human resources for registration of every participant, but also take those results when they come in and call every single person and notify them of their results,” Coates said. 

She said both events required overtime work from the clinics’ nurse practitioners. With each call, they spoke with patients about their home life and gave advice on protocols for their respective situations. Coates said the nurses helped families navigate difficult questions like how to isolate those who tested positive for COVID-19 in a house packed with people.

To help cover the costs of the nonprofit’s COVID-19 support, the organization started an initiative to raise $25,000 in 25 days. The challenge will end May 25. People can donate by visiting goodnewsclinics.org/covid-19-support-fund/.

Coates said any amount, whether it’s $5 or $5,000, will help Good News Clinics continue its COVID-19 support efforts. So far, the nonprofit has raised $6,000.

“The cost to us has definitely been significant in terms of our response to all patients,” Coates said. “We’re trying to ask for the community’s support by raising $25,000 to help cover those expenses for us.”

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