Gov. Brian Kemp looking to expand coronavirus testing

Governor Brian Kemp Monday expressing concern over the lack of testing available for coronavirus throughout the state.

"Our testing number in Georgia continues to lag," he said at the state capitol.

During Monday's press conference, the governor announced that the Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey is pushing public health directors in every region to collect more specimens, expand testing sites, and revise testing criteria.

That criteria will now "include symptomatic critical infrastructure workers and asymptomatic individuals who have had direct contact with positive COVID-19 patients," the Governor explained.

There are more than 13,000 confirmed cases with more than 460 deaths.

Dr. Toomey said the state is partnering with a private lab in Sandy Springs that can conduct more than 2,000 a day. that will allow for two-thousand tests a day.

"We also have ramped up the testing capacity using the university system in our state lab that will allow us to do 1,000 tests a day," Dr. Toomey said.

Dr. Toomey also admits they likely made it hard for people to get tested at the health district facilities.

Many people needed a physician's referral to be seen.

"This is something that has clearly concerned us. I too have seen the reports that we are 45 out of 50 states in terms of our number tested. We know we need to ramp that up and ramp that up quickly," She said Monday.

Dr. Toomey said she hopes changing some criteria will make it easier for health district staff to see patients.

"All of our health districts now have multiple sites. We have over 34 at this time. We will have more by the end of the week that are run by the health departments statewide," Toomey detailed.

By the end of the week, she said all health districts will have the opportunity for people to call and set an appointment.