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, 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

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.

Coastal Empire

The Coastal Health District offers several opportunities for free COVID-19 testing. Anyone can be tested for free regardless of symptoms.

The schedule below is subject to change based on the weather. Drive-through lines may close early so that everyone in line can be served before the end of the testing event.

The Chatham County Health Department’s COVID-19 testing site will move to the Savannah Civic Center (301 West Oglethorpe Ave.) in downtown Savannah beginning Monday, July 6.

The drive-through line will route cars into a sheltered cargo area inside the Civic Center where Health Department staff will collect specimens for testing.

No appointment is needed. The drive-through will close when the line reaches capacity.

The schedule is as follows:

  • No testing event Friday, July 3 or Saturday, July 4
  • Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and alternating Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday schedule for July: 7/18/20

For an appointment at the locations listed below, call the COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 1-912-230-9744.

  • Bryan County
    • Richmond Hill
      • Expercare Urgent Care, 60 Exchange St. Suite B7
      • Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
      • Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m
    • Pembroke
      • Bryan County Health Department, 430 Ledford St.
      • Weekly on Friday morning
  • Camden County
    • Camden County Health Department, 905 Dilworth Street in St. Marys
    • Weekly on Tuesday morning
  • Effingham County
    • Effingham County Health Department, 802 Highway 119 South in Springfield
    • Weekly on Friday morning
  • Glynn County
    • 2747 4th Street in the parking lot of the Glynn County Health Department
    • *No testing event Friday, July 3 or Saturday, July 4
    • Monday, July 6, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., no appointment needed. The drive-through will close when the line reaches capacity.
    • No testing Tuesday or Thursday, July 7 & 9
    • Beginning Wednesday, July 8, appointments will be required for testing.
    • The testing site will be operational Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and alternating Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Saturday schedule for July: 7/11/20 & 7/25/20 by appointment
  • Liberty County
    • Connection Church parking lot (behind the Liberty County Health Department) 116 Patriot Trail in Hinesville
    • Weekly on Friday morning
  • Long County
    • Long County Health Department, 584 North Macon Street in Ludowici
    • Weekly on Tuesday morning
  • McIntosh County
    • McIntosh County Health Department, 1335 Georgia Hwy 57 in Townsend
    • Weekly on Tuesday morning

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.

The following sites are open locally:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 712 Stephenson Avenue, Savannah, GA 31405
  • CVS Pharmacy, 5401 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31406
  • CVS Pharmacy, 5690 Ogeechee Road, Savannah, GA 31405
  • CVS Pharmacy, 2324 US Highway 17, Richmond Hill, GA 31324

Opening Friday, June 12:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 19 East Parker Street, Baxley, GA 31513
  • CVS Pharmacy, 5421 New Jesup Highway, Brunswick, GA 31523
  • CVS Pharmacy, 348 West Pine Street, Jesup, GA 31545
  • CVS Pharmacy, 441 Fair Road, Statesboro, GA 30458

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.

Residents in the Southeast Health District should call 1-855-473-4374 for assistance. The district serves a number of counties including Appling, Bacon, Bulloch, Candler, Coffee, Evans, Jeff Davis, Tattnall, Toombs and Wayne counties.

The Coastal Health District’s direct patient lines are also open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Residents can call the following numbers to be screened for the virus and referred if needed:

  • Bryan County: 912-756-2611 (Richmond Hill)
  • Bryan County: 912-653-4331 (Pembroke)
  • Camden County: 912-882-8515 ext. 215
  • Chatham County: 912-356-2441
  • Effingham County: 912-754-6484
  • Glynn County: 912-264-3961 – Opt. 5
  • Liberty County: 912-876-2173
  • Long County: 912-545-2107
  • McIntosh County: 912-832-5473

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