Georgia Coronavirus Updates: Rural Mobile Testing, $148K For Poison Center After Calls Spike
This week in Georgia brings mobile testing for COVID-19 to more rural parts of the state, the reopening of indoor dining in restaurants and more money for local poison control.
Here are the daily coronavirus updates for Sunday, April 26.
There are more than 23,000 cumulative reported COVID-19 cases in Georgia, and about 19% of those have resulted in hospitalizations. The 7 p.m. update shows 916 deaths or 3.9% of those with confirmed cases, died. More than 122,000 tests have been performed.
Mobile COVID-19 testing comes to Augusta, Milledgeville and Tifton
Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Sunday a mobile COVID-19 testing initiative to set up drive-thru sites in communities without access to testing.
Starting Monday, April 27, the mobile unit will travel between Augusta (Hephzibah), Milledgeville and Tifton on a rotating basis, Kemp said in a press release. The site is supported by Walmart, eTrueNorth, and state and local officials.
"This mobile unit will be a game-changing step in our efforts to ensure access to COVID-19 (testing) across Georgia," Kemp said in the release.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 can get an appointment for testing online, but on-site scheduling will also be available.
Those being tested will need to stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check, and self-administered test. For the safety of all those using and operating the mobile site, the tests will not be available to walk-ups; those being tested must be in a car.
Georgia Poison Center gets $148K from feds
The Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded nearly $5 million to poison control centers nationwide after a spike in calls for services.
Georgia will see $148,670.
As more Americans heed cleaning recommendations to combat exposure to COVID-19, the nation’s Poison Control Centers are simultaneously seeing sharp increases in calls related to cleaners and disinfectants, HHS said in a Thursday press release.
Calls to poison centers are up more than 20% nationally when comparing the first three months of 2020 to the same time period in 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Funding for the PCP was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Poison Control Centers are available 24 hours a day; every day of the year, through the HRSA-funded Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222).
Officials are hoping the money will be used on efforts to educate people about the proper way to clean surfaces.
“This investment will help these organizations reduce the risk of COVID-19 related poisoning," HRSA Administrator Tom Engels said.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Restaurants opening this week, including 400 Waffle House locations