COVID-19 testing site coming to Towns County Health DepartmentAnnouncements, News April 20, 2020
TOWNS COUNTY, Ga – In his public address on Friday, April 17, Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw revealed that Towns County would soon receive a COVID-19 testing location at the local health department.
“We’re going to have a drive-thru testing site at Towns County Health Department, and it will be up and going in a few days. It will help us identify who has the virus, who doesn’t have the virus. You need to go isolate yourself or your fine, you can go back to work,” explained the commissioner.
According to Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales the testing site is open and taking appointments. Please call ahead before showing up at the health department. The number is (706) 896-2265.
Fetch Your News contacted District Two MPH Dave Palmer for further details about the testing location. However, once all the specimen collection details are worked out, testing should begin soon.
Towns and Union County Health Department staff are being trained in COVID-19 testing protocols, and the Towns location will serve citizens from both counties.
“Specimen collection will take place at the health department and specimens will be sent to a lab for testing. Test results average 24 to 48 hours, explained Palmer. “The process will require an appointment. Individuals who have symptoms are asked to call the health department. A nurse will screen callers and then submit the information to a scheduler who will call the individual with a time to come to the specimen collection site.”
Those who take a COVID-19 test will receive a phone call with the lab results. All positive patients will work with a nurse regarding contact tracing.
How Towns received a testing location
Bradshaw contacted State Senator John Wilkinson and District 2 Public Health Director Pam Logan on Thursday, April 16 about getting a testing site. Up until now, Gainesville, Ga has been the closest drive-thru testing site for Towns County residents.
“I said can we not please get a testing site on this side of the mountain? We’ve got elderly folks here who are sick, and [they don’t feel like driving across the mountain.] To be honest with you after watching the local news and all this stuff about testing sites, I thought it would probably be impossible,” admitted Bradshaw.
At 5 p.m., Logan called back and confirmed Towns County could receive its own drive-thru site.
For those with questions about the testing site, call the health department at 706.896.2265.
“I’m very, very proud that we’re able to get this done,” said Bradshaw.
He thanked everyone who made it possible including Wilkinson, Logan, Laura Ide, the office manager health department, Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales, Young Harris Mayor Andrea Gibby, and all the people involved in making it happen.
“This is a serious time. There’s no doubt about it and this is when Americans rise to the top. This is when we do our best. I’m thankful to all you guys, and I’m thankful to our citizens,” stated the commissioner.