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Public health expands testing to anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19
COVID-19 test
This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the coronavirus. - photo by Associated Press

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Update, April 15: Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 could now be eligible for COVID-19 testing, the state Department of Public Health announced.

Referrals are still required and certain groups — health care workers, first responders, law enforcement and long-term care facility residents and staff — will still be prioritized whether or not they are showing symptoms, according to an April 15 news release.

DPH is increasing the number of specimen collection sites statewide to provide for the additional testing. There is a referral-only testing site in Hall County. 

Residents can be referred to a DPH specimen collection site by their local health department or their health care provider. The local health department can be reached at 770-535-5743.

Drive-thru testing conducted by DPH requires a referral and specific number. People should not arrive unannounced or without an appointment at any collection site, hospital or other medical facility, according to DPH.

Previous story: District 2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, which includes Hall County, will be increasing COVID-19 testing as capacity expands statewide.

Testing guidelines will include:

Hospitalized patients 

The following people with symptoms:

  • Health care workers, first responders and other critical infrastructure workers

  • People living in long-term care facilities or other group residential settings

  • People 65 and older

  • Patients with underlying medical conditions

  • Household members or caregivers of any of the groups above 

  • People with close contact with a known COVID-19 case

The following people without symptoms will also be tested as capacity allows: 

  • Health care workers, first responders and other critical infrastructure workers that have been exposed to COVID-19

  • Residents of a long-term care facility or other group residential setting experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 

To get tested, people should first call the local health department and ask to speak with a nurse about COVID-19 testing. 

The Hall County Health Department can be reached at 770-531-5600. The nurse will then review the patient information and submit it for verification. Then, the Department of Public Health will call back to set up an appointment at a testing site.

There is a referral-only testing site in Hall County. 

The state has been able to expand its testing capacity due to a new partnership with several university labs. Several other local providers, including the Northeast Georgia Health System, the Longstreet Clinic, Guilford Immediate Care and Lanier Urgent Care, also offer testing.

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