Ga. Dept. of Public Health: Don’t go to ERs for COVID-19 testing

The Georgia Department of Public Health on Wednesday implored people looking for COVID-19 testing to avoid hospital emergency rooms unless they have severe Covid symptoms requiring immediate medical attention.

The announcement was made the day after Georgia broke the state’s record for the number of test-confirmed Covid cases, and hospitals try to avoid being overrun. As of Tuesday afternoon, 25 Atlanta-area emergency rooms were turning away ambulances, while only six local ERs at hospitals caring for adults were receiving them, according to the Associated Press. 

“Asymptomatic individuals or individuals with mild symptoms should find testing sites other than hospital emergency departments,” GDPH said in a news release.

Covid testing locations throughout Georgia can be found on GDPH’s website. The department is working with its lab partners to expand testing hours and add testing sites as a crush of people seek them in this fifth wave of infections.

It is “critical” that people register before going to a test site, according to GDPH. 

Online registration will help alleviate back-ups at test sites and free up staff to do more testing if they aren’t doing registration paperwork,” the department said.

Covid vaccination locations can be found here. Georgians aged 5 and older are eligible for vaccination. Georgians 16 and older are eligible for boosters six months after completing their vaccine series of either Moderna or Pfizer (only Pfizer is authorized for booster doses in 16- and 17-year-olds) and two months after their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.