Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing

MAKO Medical Adding COVID-19 Drive-thru Testing Sites in North Georgia

North GA – In addition to the free COVID-19 Testing provided by MAKO Medical at drive-thru sites in Canton, Dalton and Ellijay, the service is now expanding to three new sites in North Georgia that will operate one day a week. These added COVID-19 testing sites will be in Blue Ridge, Chatsworth and Jasper, Georgia.

All MAKO Medical sites, including the new once-a-week locations, will operate as follows:

Action Church

271 Marietta Road, Canton, GA 30114

Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM

Edwards Park

115 Edwards Park Entrance, Dalton, GA 30721

Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 3 PM

Gilmer County Civic Center (Parks and Recreation)

1561 South Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8 AM – 2 PM

Murray County Recreation Department

651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705

Mondays only: 8 AM – 3 PM, beginning September 13, 2021

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

1036 N. Main Street, Jasper, GA 30143

Tuesdays only: 8 AM – 3 PM, beginning September 14, 2021

The Farmers Market

811 Summit Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Thursdays only: 8 AM – 3 PM, beginning September 16, 2021

This is PCR testing done by nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19, and it is free.

Anyone who has COVID-19 type symptoms or has been in close contact recently with a person infected with the virus needs to be tested for COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated. There are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering online at https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.

More Than 20,000 Lives Lost to COVID-19 in GA



ATLANTA – The number of Georgians who have died from COVID-19 now surpasses 20,000. As of 3 p.m. today, there have been 20,041 confirmed COVID deaths in Georgia since the pandemic began.

“It is tragic but not surprising that we have surpassed this grim milestone of 20,000 COVID deaths in our state,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner. “Ninety seven percent of COVID deaths since we’ve had vaccine are in unvaccinated individuals. These deaths are preventable.”

COVID vaccines are safe and effective at protecting against COVID-19 infections. COVID vaccines also help prevent severe illness and death if an individual does get sick. The vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID cases are surging in Georgia, driven by the delta variant. The delta variant is more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 and research shows that it results in a higher rate of severe illness and hospitalization than other variants. COVID-19 is spreading fastest in areas with low vaccination rates. Currently, only 44% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated, wear a mask in public settings and wash their hands frequently.

COVID vaccine is available statewide and is our best tool for ending this pandemic and reducing the overwhelming strain on EMS, the healthcare system and healthcare providers. To find a COVID vaccination location, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

COVID testing is recommended immediately for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, individuals who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested, even if they are fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure. Unvaccinated individuals should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure. To find testing locations, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting. Please do not go to hospital emergency rooms for COIVD testing.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook



Vaccination More Urgent Than Ever

COVID-19 Cases Increase and Delta Variant Spreads in Georgia

ATLANTA – If you were waiting for the right time to get vaccinated, that time is now! The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to get vaccinated as the number of new COVID-19 cases increases daily and the Delta variant spreads.

The COVID case rate in Georgia has increased 204% over the last 14-day period. Yesterday new cases totaled 4,612 – the highest daily number since mid-February. Hospitalizations have increased by about 50% in the last 14 days, and deaths have increased by about 18% in the same period. Vaccination has stalled statewide and only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever. The Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier strains. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere – and help prevent new variants from emerging.”

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you receive either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you must get your second dose to ensure you are fully protected. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of vaccine.

COVID vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are safe and effective against COVID-19 and the variants that are circulating. Vaccination is the best defense at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death. The delta variant is causing some “vaccine breakthrough infections,” meaning infections in fully vaccinated people, but even so, most breakthrough infections are mild. In areas with substantial and high transmission (https://dph.georgia.gov/county-indicatorreports), the CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

COVID vaccines are free and widely available statewide without insurance or identification. To find a vaccination location or to schedule an appointment, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covidvaccine.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook. ##

Take preventive action now against COVID-19

According to the CDC, older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease are at a higher risk of serious illness if they contract the COVID-19 virus. This means that most people with Medicare are at a higher risk. Your health, safety, and welfare is our highest priority.

In addition to practicing good everyday prevention through things such as hand washing and avoiding touching your face, the CDC says there is more you can do to take precautions against COVID-19 and reduce your risk of exposure:

  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces with limited air circulation.
  • Defer all cruise ship travel worldwide, particularly if you also have underlying health issues.
  • Avoid situations that put you at increased risk, including non-essential travel such as long plane trips.

Get More Info

Remember: Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19 — you pay no out-of-pocket costs. And Medicare also covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. For more information about Medicare and COVID-19, visit Medicare.gov.

Sincerely, The Medicare Team

Note: For the latest information on the coronavirus, including travel advisories, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NO COST Hepatitis A Shots Offered at Health Departments in North Georgia

2019 FEB 25, North GA – Due to an increase in eastern Alabama, southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia of reported cases of hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus, public health departments in north Georgia are providing hepatitis A vaccinations at no out-of-pocket expense. We are especially urging people who are at greatest risk for becoming infected with hepatitis A, including people who are incarcerated in jails, homeless persons, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men, to come to a county health department in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitfield County for a no-cost-to-clients hepatitis A vaccination. Learn more at http://bit.ly/No-Cost-Hep-A-Shot_NorthGA.

Contact information for each county health department in North Georgia:

Cherokee: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, (770) 345-7371 or 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA, (770) 928-0133

Fannin: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, (706) 632-3023

Gilmer: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, (706) 635-4363

Murray: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, (706) 695-4585

Pickens: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, (706) 253-2821

Whitfield: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, (706) 279-9600