Mobile testing site begins in Bleckley County

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COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The Georgia Department of Public Health has started offering mobile testing sites throughout the state.

The Department of Public Health in Bleckley County hosted its first mobile testing site Thursday. People could receive COVID-19 testing through their car windows. Melissa Brantley from the South Central Health district says the mobile sites will expand testing opportunities for people in Middle Georgia.

“The whole vision behind doing the popups or mobile testing is so we can offer to test all of the counties in our service areas. We have 2 full-time testing sites but we wanted to be able to reach all of our rural counties. So the easiest way to do that was to have kind of a popup scenario or drive-thru so people can just drive through and be tested,” said Brantley.

The National Guard partnered with medical professionals to help collect data, and create a more efficient process. The testing site saw over 90 people.

Brantley says mobile testing will allow health professionals to better assess the impact of COVID-19 in specific communities.

“It really gives us the ability to see what we’re dealing with in each community as far as COVID is concerned,” Brantley said, “In the beginning, we had to be very strict with the requirements for being tested because we didn’t really have enough tasing kits to be able to test a wide variety of people, but that availability has grown.”

Micheal Hokanson from the North Central Health District, says testing sites will give Georgians more accurate COVID-19 data, and more efficient testing.

 “With more testing going on we’ll be able to see, or we’ll get a better picture of how pervasive it is in the communities where more testing is being offered,” said Hokanson.

Once a person is tested from the mobile site, the swab is shipped immediately to a lab. The Department of Public health says that people will receive their results within 48 hours.

Bleckley County Department of Public Health will have another mobile testing site, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.