Georgia made national headlines after Gov. Brian Kemp decided to reopen the state during the global pandemic.
But with Georgia’s COVID-19 cases expected to rise, testing has become a priority. Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said that the state had a goal of testing 100,000 people in a span of 10 days, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In the metro Atlanta area, free drive-thru testing sites have popped up over the last few days. Augusta University teamed up with the Georgia National Guard to conduct testing at Georgia State Univerity, Kennesaw State University, Greenbriar Mall, and Morrow, Georgia.
A rolling out reporter visited the drive-thru testing site at Greenbriar Mall in southwest Atlanta to get an inside look at COVID-19 testing in Georgia.
The Augusta University/Georgia National Guard has the capabilities of conducting 260 tests per hour.
“Those who are interested in getting tested can call or go online to make an appointment,” nurse Amy Brown of Augusta University told rolling out. “Or if they don’t have an appointment, they can still come and get tested.”
One of the early barriers for COVID-19 testing in some states was that the only people who could get tested were older individuals or those who should symptoms such as high fever, persistent cough, or shortness of breath. However, Brown said that anyone can receive a free test at the drive-thru site.
“The test usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes,” Brown said. “We swab them and give them information on how to get the result in 72 hours. It’s taken a little longer because of the volume we’ve had. Here at Greenbriar, we have tested about 100 to 200 a day.”
As of press time on Monday, May 4, there are currently 28,338 cases of COVID-19 and 1,174 deaths, according to the CDC.