Athens commissioner tests positive for coronavirus

One Athens-Clarke County commissioner was front and center at a Sunday protest in Athens where thousands gathered over the death of George Floyd.

She announced Wednesday she tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mariah Parker describes herself as a civil rights activist, which makes her presence at Sunday’s protest no surprise.

Three days after leading a group of more than 2,000 people in chanting “Black Lives Matter,” Parker decided to get tested for the coronavirus.

“Just the sheer number of people I was around, the impossibility of social distancing as an organizer gathered in a small space with people coming close to me to speak in the moment getting emotional and perhaps not remembering to social distance right now,” Parker said.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker leads a protest on May 31, 2020. (FOX 5)

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She received her positive test results in 15 minutes and informed the public the same day through social media. She says she shows no symptoms but will quarantine to avoid the spread.

This means she will not attend a Saturday rally that is intended to honor the “black lives lost to police brutality and white supremacy.”

“I didn’t want to take something from Sunday and then give it to people on Saturday, so I wanted to make sure I was healthy before taking part in that," Parker said. “I will do everything I can from the comfort of my own home knowing that the community will carry forward what I have to say.”

Parker recommends human megaphones -- repeating a speaker’s message as a group while social distancing.

The organizers of Saturday’s rally also recommend social distancing and request participants to wear masks.

Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georgia

Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker leads a protest on May 31, 2020. (FOX 5)


Resources for COVID-19 testing in Athens-Clarke County:

Free and income-based clinics
Mercy Health Center: 700 Oglethorpe Ave Athens, GA 30606
Office number: (706) 425-9445
Must call first, must have no insurance, at or below 150% of the federal poverty level and live in Clarke, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, Oconee or Oglethorpe counties

Shifa Clinic: 435 Hawthorne Avenue Suite 600 Athens, GA
Office number: (706) 850-4588
Screening hotline: (706) 431-7334
For Spanish: (706) 407-1864
Patients must have no insurance and live within 200% of the poverty level

Clarke County Health Department Clinic: 345 North Harris Street Athens, GA 30601
Office number: (706) 389-6921
Testing/Screening Hotline: (706) 340-0996

Athens Nurses Clinic (sliding scale): 240 North Avenue Athens, GA 30601
Office number: 706-613-6976

Federally-Approved Health Centers:

Athens Neighborhood Health Center:  675 College Avenue 402 McKinley Drive Athens, GA 30601
Office number: (706) 546-5526 or (706) 543-1145

Other Testing Locations

Georgia Department of Public Health
Clarke County School District Transportation Dept: 165 Paradise Boulevard Athens, GA 30607
Pre-screening or referral required: (706) 340-0996

Drive-up testing at Oconee Health Campus (via Piedmont Athens Regional)
1305 Jennings Mill Road Watkinsville, GA 30677
Pre-screening required: 1-866-460-1119

Peachtree Immediate Care: 1480 Baxter Street, Suite A Athens, GA 30606
Office number: 706-543-0228
Accepts most insurance, $175 for uninsured
No referral required

Athens Free Mobile Clinic
Office number: 706-308-4092

CVS: 3595 Atlanta Highway Athens, GA 30606
Office number: 706-549-8985
Must register in advance on


RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

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