In an effort to ease crowded conditions at area urgent care facilities, the Georgia Department of Public Health in conjunction with Northeast Georgia Health System has opened a new COVID-19 test site in Gainesville.
The drive-thru tent is set up in the parking lot of Sherwood Plaza on South Enota Drive.
"People can go to this site if they're not really very sick but they want to get tested," said Dr. John Delzell in a recent interview with WDUN. "It will help us to relieve some congestion in our urgent care [facilities]."
Delzell, the Vice President for Medical Education at NGHS, said the mobile site is specifically designed for people who are experiencing mild symptoms or those who believe they have been exposed to the virus.
Starting Monday, Sept. 6, the testing tent will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
NGHS officials said the tent will be operated by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
DPH officials have said COVID testing is recommended immediately for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, individuals who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested, even if they are fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3 to 5 days after exposure. Unvaccinated individuals should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5 to 7 days after last exposure.
DPH is asking Georgians to avoid hospital emergency rooms for COVID testing, since emergency departments all over the state are overwhelmed with an influx of COVID patients, as well as other emergency medical situations.