COVID mega-testing sites open in Cobb, DeKalb

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US Reports More Than , 1 Million New Daily COVID-19 Cases, Amid Omicron Surge.According to Johns Hopkins University, 1,082,549 new COVID-19 cases were documented on Jan. 3.Delayed reporting due to the holiday weekend may have contributed to the record single-day tally.Still, the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows America currently has the highest seven-day average of new coronavirus cases worldwide.As of Jan. 3, that seven-day average is 480,273.The Department of Health and Human Services reports about 98,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with coronavirus. .For the week ending Jan. 3, there was an average of 1,200 daily coronavirus-related deaths. .Omicron continues to be the dominant COVID-19 strain at this time, though it is thought to cause less severe infections.While some studies suggest our current vaccines aren't as effective against Omicron, three doses appear to increase protection

The Georgia Department of Public Health announced Friday night that two metro COVID-19 mega-testing sites are opening.

A Cobb County site is at Jim Miller Park (Gate 1) at 1295 Al Bishop Drive in Marietta.

A DeKalb County site is at 2994 Turner Hill Road in Stonecrest.

Georgia continues to see COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, particularly in metro Atlanta, as the omicron variant spreads across the state. Amid the climb, Georgia National Guard troops expect to deploy to assist testing centers as well as hospitals.

For the two new mega-testing sites, hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The sites close from 12:30 to 1 p.m. each day for a lunch break.

Appointments are required to be tested. To register online and to make an appointment, go to https://ViralSolutionsGA.com/register.

ExploreA look at major COVID-19 developments over the past week

DPH said specimen collection is handled by medical staff using a nasal swab and that individuals will be provided information on how to receive the results of their test. While COVID testing is free to all Georgians, insurance will be billed if it is available. Additional information about the test sites and driving directions can be found at https://ViralSolutionsGA.com/.

The two mega-testing sites are partnerships between the state health agency, the DeKalb County Board of Health, the Cobb & Douglas Health Department and Viral Solutions. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is providing security and traffic control.

DPH said discussions are underway for possibly more such sites in Georgia.

To find vaccination locations in the state, visit dph.ga.gov/covid-vaccine.