COVID-19 Testing Priorities
From Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)
Limiting the spread
The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing, which includes:
• Putting distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
• Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly
The most important step in containing the disease is that people who are sick with any mild respiratory symptoms (low grade fever, mild cough) should stay home and isolate themselves from others until after the symptoms have resolved.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe and throughout communities across Georgia, we must take measures to slow the spread of the virus in order to protect those that are most vulnerable to severe outcomes from the disease, and enable our healthcare system to deliver care to those in need.
Laboratory testing is also an important step in containing the disease and protecting both the healthcare system and vulnerable populations, but not everyone with respiratory symptoms needs to be tested.
Most people who are mildly or moderately ill with “cold-like”symptoms do not need to be tested.
The majority of people with COVID-19 can safely recover at home with self-isolation and symptomatic treatment, and diagnosis through laboratory testing does not change the care they would receive. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 and should always consult their healthcare provider if sick.
ATHENS AREA DRIVE THROUGH COVID-19 TESTING CENTERS
DPH is also establishing drive-through collection centers at various locations across the state.The purpose of these centers is to collect specimens from mildly ill people who do not require medical care or hospitalization and fall into one of the other prioritized groups.
Per DPH and federal guidelines, the people prioritized for testing at these remote Specimen Collection Centers include:
- Healthcare workers and other first responders who are critical for caring for our nation during this epidemic, and who frequently interact with vulnerable populations.
- People working with and caring for vulnerable populations, such as long-term care facility staff.
- People living in congregate settings where the disease can spread rapidly.
population experience the below "Flat Curve" Pandemic experience, as noted below.
PLEASE NOTE: Only individuals who have been evaluated by a healthcare provider and assigned a PUI #number will be referred to these drive-thru sites.
Our Doctors can issue these PUI numbers once they have evaluated patients through our TeleMedicine portal. We are attempting to help our patient population experience the below "Flat Curve" Pandemic experience, as noted below.