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Call center opens Sunday to begin screening first responders and healthcare workers

March 21

Call center opens Sunday to begin screening first responders and healthcare workersPublic health will begin operating a call center at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, to screen first responders and health care workers and schedule drive-through specimen collections for COVID-19 testing for those that qualify.

The call center hotline is (229) 352-6567.

Through a federal program, Southwest Public Health received additional supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, and masks, as well as specimen collection kits used for COVID-19 testing. Public Health will not be charging for this service and specimen collection will be done in Dougherty County.
Public health will begin phone screenings Sunday and schedule specimen collection to begin Monday. They hope to conduct at least 100 collections per day as supplies remain available, said Dr. Charles Ruis, Dstrict Health Director, Southwest Public Health District 8-2.

The call center will be open 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday for ongoing screenings.

Health care providers who come in routine contact with patients of any kind – not just those patients who have tested positive or are suspected of having COVID-19 – are eligible for the screening and potential testing, as are first responders, including EMS, law enforcement, and fire fighters.

“It’s very important that we keep these people propped upand protect these very important workforces,” said Ruis of health care providers and first responders.

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