Demand for COVID-19 testing decreasing in Chatham County


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – There’s a new push by the Chatham County Health Department to get residents tested for the coronavirus.

The demand for testing at the Savannah Civic Center has seen a dramatic decrease. Just two months ago more than 700 people went through the line to get tested at the Civic Center but now health officials say within the last week they’ve seen fewer than 300.

Health officials say fewer people are being tested at this location so now they’re taking the tests into high-risk communities.

“So to be good stewards of our resources we are cutting the hours back at the Civic Center and on Wednesday’s we’re closing because we are pivoting to some community testing sites,” Public Health Administrator with the Chatham County Health Department Dr. Chris Rustin said.

Rustin said the health department wants to give people easier access to this service. They’re planning to target parts of Chatham County with higher positivity rates.

“It gives that particular community a more convenient opportunity to come by and get tested at the site,” Rustin said.

Starting next Wednesday, testing will be offered at other locations by appointment only. The first community site will be set up at the Midtown Clinic on Drayton Street. Even with numbers declining in Georgia city officials still urge residents not to let their guard down.

“People are still dying from it so we don’t want people to lose sight that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said.

According to Rustin, Chatham County is showing encouraging signs of improvement with a positivity rate below 10 percent which he says is because of the commitment of Chatham County’s citizens.

Health officials say if there is an increase in cases hours can be added back to the Civic Center site. On Wednesday’s those free testing sites will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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