BARTOW COUNTY, Ga - The Northwest District of the Georgia Department of Public Health is shifting gears from testing to vaccinating. Thursday, the district, which covers 10 counties in northwest Georgia, will shut down its last free testing site for COVID-19.
"With the closing of our last test site in Walker County we will be out of the free COVID-19 testing business, we hope forever," said Logan Boss with the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest District.
Over the past 11 months, they've tested more than 150,000 people. They've operated test sites six days a week in all counties. It's been difficult.
"We have limited resources, primarily public health nurses. It's been a demanding experience that has tested our public health resources to the max, but it has been good for our communities," said Boss.
Boss said in recent months demand for testing has gone down and with their limited resources stretched thin, they're now going to focus on vaccinating members of the community.
"We've been spread so thin we've made a determination to close the free test sites," said Boss.
Boss said just because they're no longer testing, this doesn't mean people can let their guard down when it comes to COVID-19.
"We're not out of the woods yet, people still need to take the same precautions that we've been advising for the last 9 months to a year," said Boss.
For those who don't have insurance and still need a free test, Boss said they can go to Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers These are located in Dade, Chattooga, and Polk Counties. Boss said some urgent care facilities and pharmacies also offer free testing.
Go to the Health and Human Services website, HHS.gov, to find the nearest location.
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