South DeKalb Mall offers free COVID-19 swab tests through next week

Hairstylist Dasha Wade hopes for a negative COVID-19 test result by the end of the week. She's one of the many DeKalb County residents who took advantage of the free drive-through testing Tuesday at the Gallery of South DeKalb.

"I do work around a lot of people and although I do stay masked up and covered up, I just want to make sure and positive that I am not a carrier of COVID-19 putting my clients at risk," said Wade.

Oakhurst Medical Centers set up in the mall parking off Candler Road to offer the drive-through tests for anyone in DeKalb County--regardless of your insurance status.

"I think we'll get a better gauge on how much it's impacted our community. People need to understand the more testing we do, the more cases we will have so we'll have to keep that in context," said Oakhurst CEO Jeff Taylor.

Taylor urges folks to get tested if they took part in larger Memorial Day gatherings or even during recent demonstrations--especially if they live with older family members.

"I think it is something that has to be managed in the home. If you have multiple generations living in a home and some of those younger generations are getting out and about, are they bringing it back home? We have to keep doing this testing and wearing masks in public," said Taylor.

June 2, 2020

District Three Commissioner Larry Johnson is concerned about the latest COVID-19 stats in DeKalb County--which hover among the highest in the state. The darkest orange and brown regions on the map indicate some of the highest numbers of cases are in communities along Interstates 285 and 20 as of May 31--anywhere from 130 to 330 cases depending on the zip code. He hopes entire families will get screened for the deadly virus since cost and insurance are not an issue.

"Community health is so important. We're in a visible spot from I-20 to I-285 people can just get off and get the service that they need, said Johnson, who's represented communities off of Candler Road and Gresham Road for 18 years.

"This is one of the first lines of defense you can go to. Most of our hospitals might be filled up, but our community health centers are here in our community and so we are bringing the services to where the people are," said Johnson.