GEORGIA — Georgia’s Department of Health said Thursday it’s seeing a heightened demand for people seeking COVID-19 tests as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.
According to Nancy Nydam, spokesperson for the agency, between Nov. 10-16, the DPH test sites saw a 20.3% increase over the previous seven days.
Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik visited a private testing site on Decatur Thursday where a line of cars wrapped around the block.
“The reason is because I have a cold, and my family has said get tested,” Adina Jagoda told Petchenik as she waited in the long line in a church parking lot off Clairmont Road. “Get tested. It takes no effort whatsoever. Maybe a little time. That’s it. Get tested. Be sure.”
Mother Kimberly Broerman was at the site with one of her children waiting to take a preemptive test before a planned trip to see her parents over Thanksgiving.
“It’s really important. My parents are in their 80s so don’t want to be taking it home to them. I think they’re getting tested as well,” she said. “Just securing so we can spend time together as low risk as possible.”
Co-owner and founder of Viral Solutions, Ron Sanders, said he and his business partners started the company back in August. They have five sites open now and plan to open three more in the next month.
“When we looked across the nation and Atlanta, we saw the need for COVID testing,” he said. “There was a huge unmet need, the process was flawed.”
Sanders said demand for testing has doubled at his sites in the last week-and-a-half.
“I think the caseload across America is increasing,” said Sanders. “You’re more likely to get exposed and also as you become sick: congestion, cough, cold, it could be the flu, the common cold this time of the year and people don’t know. They need to know especially if they’re taking care of loved ones, especially if they’re elderly or immunocompromised.”
Sanders said about 50% of the people seeking tests at his facilities have symptoms, 40% believe they had been exposed to COVID-19, and the other 10% are getting tested as a precautionary measure.
“The more we’re engulfed by the cases across America, the more vigilant I feel like people are becoming,” he said.
Sanders said his sites accept insurance, but for people who don’t have insurance, they have CARES Act Funding to help cover the test. Testing at state-run DPH sites are also free.
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