Statesboro’s city government and the Bulloch County government have partnered with East Georgia Healthcare Center to offer free COVID-19 testing two mornings each week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, at Luetta Moore Park.
East Georgia Healthcare Center, or EGHC, is not affiliated with the local hospital, East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Instead, EGHC is a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center, headquartered in Swainsboro, with clinics serving 13 counties.
The partnership is part of an ongoing effort to increase coronavirus testing capacity in Bulloch County.
“The city of Statesboro and Bulloch County have worked closely with EGHC over the past few weeks to be able to provide a testing facility and onsite security detail for safety and traffic flow,” city Public Information Officer Layne Phillips stated in the news release. “Both the city and county continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are working to provide timely and effective solutions to protect the health and safety of the community.”
Testing will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m., starting Sept. 15, at Luetta Moore Park, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
The Bulloch County Health Department, 1 W. Altman St., also continues to serve as a “specimen point of collection” testing center Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Saturday 8-11 a.m. But the Health Department does not currently offer testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
So, with the city, county and EGHC partnership, testing will now be available to residents of Bulloch and surrounding counties six days a week.
The COVID-19 tests are free to all patients. If the patient is insured, their health insurance will be filed, but EGHC has chosen to waive copayments, the release states.
Individuals seeking to be tested are asked to bring a government ID, such as a driver’s license, and an insurance card if insured. Funding for the COVID-19 testing will be provided through filed insurance claims for insured patients, and uninsured patients’ tests will be covered by federal COVID-19 relief funding, the notice states.
Patients do not have to reside in Bulloch County to receive a test. There are no requirements to receive a test such as proof of potential exposure or symptoms. No appointment is required for testing, but patients can call EGHC’s Statesboro office at (912) 764-9196 with questions.
Drive or walk in
When people seeking a COVID-19 test arrive at the park, there will be two lines: one for drive-ups and one for walk-ins. Follow the directional signs and people directing traffic. Those arriving by car should stay in their vehicle and await instruction.
If a patient is parked next to another car, they will need to keep their car running and keep the windows up, the notice states. Those standing in the walk-up line need to remain with their family and maintain a space of 6 feet between themselves and other families.
All drive-thru workers are EGHC employees and have been trained extensively to work with COVID-19 testing, the notice states. Patients can expect a visit conducted by a licensed nurse practitioner, physician assistant or medical doctor, with medical assistants or nurses collecting specimens.
As part of the visit, EGHC will collect patient vitals and a simple medical history, conduct a problem-focused examination, and then administer a swab test for COVID-19.
EGHC held a “soft-launch” on Thursday to prepare the Luetta Moore Park site for a full public launch next week.
East Georgia Healthcare Center also facilitates COVID-19 testing along with all other primary medical care in all of its offices, including the Bulloch County office, Statesboro Pediatrics & Family Healthcare on Brampton Avenue.