SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As the demand for COVID-19 testing grows across the country, residents in Chatham County without a means of transportation now have access to testing at Savannah’s drive-thru site.
The Chatham County Health Department will accommodate up to 100 walk-up tests a day at the Savannah Civic Center for people without a car.
Each day, up to 100 people who do not have a car can line up between 8 and 8:30 a.m. to receive a test and, unlike previous testing rules, do not need to make an appointment. Walkers can form a line on the Montgomery Street side of the Civic Center.
The Coastal Health District asks that people not stand in line before 8 a.m., wear a mask, and have a form of identification on hand. Smoking in line is forbidden.
Twenty contract nurses are working at the Civic Center to keep up with increasing testing demands. On Monday, Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown says the Coastal Health District served 48 people who walked inside to get tested.
“There was a barrier for some individuals who didn’t have transportation, they weren’t allowed to come to the Civic Center to be tested,” Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown said. “We worked with the police, we worked with the Civic Center, to figure out the safest way to do that, so that we don’t have the two competing against each other.”
Staff are making sure everyone is social distancing in line. To do that, Brown says nurses are escorting people inside the Civic Center in groups of 10.
“With shifting bus schedules, we also know that people’s time is more valuable now,” said Bike Walk Savannah Executive Director Caila Brown who also supports the department’s decision to move the testing site to the Civic Center, which is in a more centralized location than the former testing site on Sallie Mood Drive.
Brown says census data indicates that 10 percent of people in Savannah do not have access to a motor vehicle.
The Coastal Health District plans to extend coronavirus testing hours to begin testing up to 500 people each day. More details will come very soon, according to a media representative from the department.
Plus, Brown says problems with lab equipment have been fixed. Delays in results should be less severe. People who get tested Monday should expect results in four to five days.
Testing is free and no appointment is needed. For more information on getting a COVID-19 test in the Coastal Empire and the Lowcountry, visit here.