SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Efforts to increase widespread testing for COVID-19 continue in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. With many telehealth options and mobile clinics available, health officials encourage everyone to get tested, symptomatic, or not.

From free testing events to COVID-19 hotlines, WSAV NOW has gathered the information you need to know. Wondering what testing entails? Visit here for a firsthand account of the process.

You do not have to be experiencing them to get tested but symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Possible symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control, include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or run nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

Free testing

Coastal Health District

The Coastal Health District is now only offering COVID-19 testing at two regional sites, including the Savannah Civic Center.

Testing in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties are no longer available through public health as efforts shift to vaccinations.

An appointment is not required for testing at the Civic Center but pre-registration must be completed on Mako Medical’s website. The North Carolina-based company, contracted with the Georgia Department of Public Health, recently took over operations.

The Savannah Civic Center schedule is as follows:

  • Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Every first and third Saturday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Closed Sundays

Cars will be routed into a sheltered cargo area in the center where staff will collect specimens.

The drive-thru will close when line reaches capacity. Visit here for details on the process.

CHD’s COVID-19 Testing Call Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1-912-230-9744 for any questions.

Walk-up testing:

  • Available for anyone without access to a vehicle
  • Limited to 100 people a day
  • No appointment is needed
  • Open Monday through Friday and the first and third Saturday of the month
  • Queue begins at 8 a.m. and testing begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • Walkers form a line on the Montgomery Street side of Civic Center
  • Masks and 6-feet social distancing required
courtesy Coastal Health District

The only other testing available through the Coastal Health District is at the Glynn County Health Department.

An appointment is required. Scheduling can be completed online or through CHD’s COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 1-912-230-9744. Phone lines are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You cannot schedule a test more than two weeks in advance.

Southeast Health District

In the Southeast Health District, residents are asked to call 1-855-473-4374 to schedule a testing appointment.

Mako Medical, a North Carolina-based company contracted with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has taken over operations for two counties in the Southeast Health District:

  • Bulloch County
    • Luetta Moore Park (121 Martin Luther King Dr. in Statesboro)
    • Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Second and fourth Saturday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Register online here
  • Coffee County
    • Coffee Regional Medical Center (1101 Ocilla Rd. in Douglas)
    • Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • First and third Saturday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Register online here

Lowcountry

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is offering weekly testing in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.

DHEC-sponsored testing is always no-cost, open to anyone regardless of symptoms, and doesn’t require a referral, although pre-registration is recommended.

Visit here to sign up. Results are available within 72 hours.

The locations are as follows:

  • Beaufort County Health Department
    • 601 Wilmington Street in Beaufort
    • Typically open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays
  • Bluffton Health Clinic
    • 4819 Bluffton Parkway, #132 in Bluffton
    • Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Hampton County Health Department
    • 531 W. Carolina Avenue in Varnville
    • Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jasper County Health Department
    • 651 Grays Highway in Ridgeland
    • Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Town of Yemassee will be hosting five more COVID-19 testing events over the next month at the Yemassee Community Center (10 Mixon St.). After that, they’ll be held every Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center.

The upcoming events are as follows:

  • Monday, March 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, March 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Local hospitals are also offering free, weekly testing. Appointments and doctor’s orders are not required. Again, officials encourage you to pre-register here.

Coastal Carolina Hospital (1000 Medical Center Dr. in Hardeeville) offers testing on weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Hilton Head Hospital (25 Hospital Center Blvd. on Hilton Head Island) tests at the following times:

  • Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon

Beaufort Memorial hosts testing from noon to 2 p.m. at two locations:

  • Beaufort Memorial Medical & Administrative Center (990 Ribaut Rd. in Beaufort)
  • Beaufort Memorial Okatie Medical Pavilion (122 Okatie Center Blvd. N in Okatie)

Testing is on a first-come, first-served basis. A physician’s order is not required but participants are encouraged to bring two copies of the COVID-19 testing form to the testing event. Blank forms will also be available on site.

First responders

First responders can go to any specimen points of collection in Georgia, show their official ID and get tested. A list of locations is available online. Officials say there is no need to set up an appointment.

Rapid testing

St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care is now offering 15-minute rapid COVID-19 tests at locations in southeast Georgia and Bluffton, SC.

For self-pay patients, it will cost $160 and includes an exam. Most insurances will cover the entire cost of the test.

To learn more about COVID-19 safety and testing recommendations, visit sjcurgentcare.com.

CVS testing

CVS Health is opening additional test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations in Georgia.

Patients must legally reside in the state where the test is given and be 18 years of age or older. There should be no out-of-pocket costs for insured patients.

Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions.

All tests must be scheduled and are available the same day or up to two days in advance, depending on availability. Visit here to make an appointment.

Virtual screening

Many health systems are offering free, virtual screening appointments, 24/7.

Augusta University Health ExpressCare, often promoted by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, is available online or in the app store (Google Play and Apple). Users simply choose a medical provider and start a video visit from the comfort of their home.

Several South Carolina health systems are offering telehealth options to the public.

The Medical University of South Carolina Health Virtual Urgent Care is among the health systems in the Palmetto State offering telehealth options. To access a free consult for the virus, simply log on and use the promo code COVID19.

Care from a provider is also available by video chat via Beaufort Memorial Hospital Care Anywhere.

More options

For Lowcountry residents, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has provided an interactive map and database of known locations of various COVID-19 test sampling sites. Visit here and search by city or county.

Anyone with general questions about the virus can call the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has a COVID-19 hotline available at 844-442-2681.

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