In an effort to make specimen collection for COVID-19 more centrally available, District 2 Public Health is altering some hours at its Hall County office and adding some hours at its office in Habersham County.
Dave Palmer, spokesman for District 2 Public Health, said a Specimen Point of Collection, or SPOC, will be opened in Habersham County on weekends starting Saturday, May 16. At the same time, weekend hours will be eliminated at the Hall County office.
"We looked at the travel that people [in the district] have to do in coming to Hall County and this [Habersham County] will be a little more central on the weekends," Palmer said.
The weekend hours in Habersham County will be Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. In Hall County, the SPOC will operate Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Palmer said the SPOCs in Franklin and Towns counties will continue to operate on Tuesday and Friday of each week.
Palmer said additional mobile collections sites are also being coordinated around the district, saying those have been very successful in the effort to expand specimen collection for the coronavirus.
"On May 1st, we had an opportunity to collect 498 specimens and we got the results back on 223 of those and only 15 were positive," Palmer said. At a similar event on Saturday, May 9, health officials collected 535 specimens. Both mobile collection sites were set up at Allen Creek Soccer Complex in Hall County."
Palmer said as of last week, residents no longer have to display symptoms of COVID-19 to be eligible for testing. Anyone who wants to be tested can do so and tests are free of charge at public health offices. Even so, Palmer encourages anyone who wants to be tested to call ahead for an appointment.
Follow this link to find phone numbers for all 13 offices in District 2 and to find out more about the specimen collection procedure for COVID-19 testing. Or, contact the call center at 770-531-5600 for additional information.