Health department shifts resources to Savannah Civic Center

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Testing at the Savannah Civic Center got off to a rough start this week when there weren’t enough people there to handle the demand.

But the line was moving at a decent pace Wednesday afternoon.

“I haven’t been in the line 30 minutes, so it’s been pretty fast,” said Veronica Brown, who was waiting to get her grandchildren tested.

The Civic Center can handle up to 1,300 cars each day, but it was a different story earlier in the week. On Monday, the Coastal Health District had to send in reinforcements when its vendor, Mako Medical, suffered a COVID-19 exposure among staff.

“We have actually sent five of our staff down to assist the vendor until they can get their staff built back up, and since that day, we haven’t had any other issues at that particular site,” explained Chatham County Health Department Administrator Dr. Chris Rustin. “But there were some traffic issues at that site, and we had to cut the line a couple of hours early due to the volume.”

Finding a quick way to get tested hasn’t been easy for many. At-home tests are still hard to come by, even at pharmacies.

“All of them are saying there’s like a shortage in Georgia, and pretty much all around, that they don’t have any at home. Even like ordering it online to be shipped, most websites are out of it,” said Stephanie Sapp, who was at the Savannah Civic Center to get tested after showing symptoms.

WSAV News 3 checked on-site testing at big pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. As of this week, they’re booking at least a week out, which doesn’t help much if you need results fast.

Most people are having better luck at sites run by the Coastal Health District or a private health provider.

You need to register ahead of time at a public health site, but that doesn’t mean you have an appointment for a specific time. You can just show up whenever, after you register.

All tests through public health are free; some private test providers do charge you.

Explore local resources available at wsav.com/testing.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories