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SGMC opens drive-thru COVID-19 Screening Station

South Georgia Medical Center
Posted at 9:25 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 09:33:42-04

VALDOSTA, Ga.(WTXL) — South Georgia Medical Center will be opening a drive-thru COVID-19 Screening Station on Monday afternoon.

This screening station will be located at the Smith Northview location at 4280 North Valdosta Road.

SGMC says the drive thru COVID-19 Screening Station will allow members of the community to conveniently drive through a covered station and safely receive a free basic assessment of their symptoms by a healthcare professional while remaining in their vehicle.

COVID-19 testing can be accessed during the drive thru if the assessment indicates further evaluation and testing is needed.

The drive thru COVID-19 screening will include an observation of the individuals health presentation, CDC recommended screening questions, heart rate, body temperature and oxygen saturation levels.

In addition, preventive health information and CDC recommendations will be reviewed and made available.

According to Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean, “we recognize that members of our community are deeply concerned about their well being and the well being of their family. We believe the drive thru COVID-19 Screening Station is a first step in creating access to more testing as federal authorities release more testing capability at the community hospital level.”

Tests are required to be sent to testing labs and testing kits remain in limited supply. Until more testing access is created, only those who require testing will be tested. Dean said “We simply want to help community members with decisions about their health and with COVID-19 concerns while positioning our communities health system to offer even more access to testing when it becomes readily available.”

The hospital says the process will open Monday at 1pm until 5pm, and then began it's normal hours form 8am-5pm Monday through Friday with a goal of opening seven days a week until the COVID-19 community spread situation has subsided.

In addition to the drive-thru, SGMC Smith Northview Campus outpatient center, urgent care, diagnostic services, and outpatient surgeries will continue normal operations.

“This COVID-19 screening station will allow us to safely determine which patients require specific COVID-19 laboratory testing and which patients do not,” said SGMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Dawson.

Officials are expecting long lines due to testing demands but are asking the public to be patient in advance.

The Screening Station is part of a three pronged approach to assist the public in combating the spread of COVID-19.

The other initiatives include leveraging telehealth technology , to deploy telehealth as an option for those who should not or can't leave home for evaluation.

For more information on SGMC's efforts regarding COVID-19 click here.