Georgia DPH changing COVID-19 testing criteria, adding testing sites

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ATLANTA (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it is changing COVID-19 testing criteria to accommodate more testing and also increasing the number of testing sites statewide.

“Effective immediately, all symptomatic individuals will be eligible for COVID-19 testing,” a DPH news release said. “Health care workers, first responders, law enforcement and long-term care facility residents and staff will be prioritized for testing regardless of whether they are or are not symptomatic.”

DPH says referrals are still required, but there are two new ways to be referred to a DPH testing site:

Local Health Department

“Individuals who meet COVID-19 criteria may now be referred to DPH specimen collection sites by contacting their local health department,” the release said. “They will be screened by appropriate health department staff and referred to the closest, most convenient specimen collection site. Contact information for local health departments can be found on the DPH homepage at https://dph.georgia.gov/, under COVID-19 in Georgia.

Health Care Provider Referral

“Health care providers and/or physicians can and should continue to refer patients for COVID-19 testing,” the release said. “People should not arrive unannounced or without a scheduled appointment at a specimen collection site, hospital, emergency room or other health care facility. Only individuals who have been evaluated by public health or a health care provider and assigned a PUI # number will be referred to these drive-thru sites.”

For more information about COVID-19 https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.