//Local COVID antigen testing process changing

Local COVID antigen testing process changing

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VALDOSTA – Health Departments within the South Health District began providing free COVID-19 antigen testing November 9 to symptomatic individuals. The testing will continue; however, the process will now be different.

Per CDC recommendations, any negative antigen test should be followed up with a PCR test for confirmation which means an individual that has a negative antigen test at a public health testing site will also be swabbed for a PCR test.

Due to the high number of individuals coming through public health testing sites and refusing PCR testing after receiving a negative antigen test, all individuals requesting an antigen test will now be swabbed first for PCR testing and afterwards will receive the antigen test.

Antigen test results are available within 15-30 minutes. Individuals should wait at the testing site for their results.

Pre-registration for antigen or PCR tests is required. Anyone interested in receiving a test can register and make an appointment online at covid19.dph.ga.gov. Individuals with limited online access or those without an email address can call the South Health District COVID-19 hotline at 844-955-1499 for registration.

Directions to the testing site in each county will be given upon registration. COVID-19 testing is only available during testing site hours of operation. A testing schedule for each county is available online at covid19.southhealthdistrict.com. All COVID-19 testing through public health is free.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, public health officials ask individuals to:

  • Social distance by maintaining at least six feet of distance from others
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Disinfect surfaces
  • Most importantly, stay home when sick

For more information on COVID-19 testing, please visit southhealthdistrict.com or call the COVID-19 hotline at 844-955-1499.

South Health District counties include Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift, and Turner.