The Board of Health said in a news release the testing suspension at its three testing sites around the county is necessary “due to increased demand to quickly provide vaccines to healthcare workers.”
DeKalb’s COVID-19 testing will resume Monday at only one site: Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church at 1879 Glenwood Avenue. Appointments and registration is required and available at dekalbhealth.net/covid-19. Testing is free.
For the next four days, the county will prioritize vaccinating healthcare workers, first responders and long-term care facility residents, which matches the Georgia Department of Public Health’s vaccine rollout plan. As the COVID-19 death toll continues to increase, the state’s vaccine distribution program has garnered criticism for being slower than anticipated.
Anyone who scheduled a COVID-19 testing appointment for Wednesday through Saturday has been notified about rescheduling options and alternative testing locations, the release said.
Vaccine appointments for seniors could go quickly. Many elderly Georgians have had trouble finding places to get vaccinated.
The first doses of vaccines in Georgia were earmarked for health care workers and for residents and staff of nursing homes. Last week, Gov. Brian Kemp and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said that the program would be opened to those over age 65, as well as to police officers and firefighters, in parts of the state — they didn’t specify which — where there were surplus supplies.
Shortly after Kemp made his announcement, the health department serving Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties updated its website to offer vaccinations to the additional groups. By Saturday, the appointments were fully booked, said department spokesman Chad Wasdin.
This week, Morehouse School of Medicine announced it will offer COVID-19 vaccines to elderly Georgians during the next three weekends in January. To register, visit https://www.msm.edu/news-center/coronavirusadvisory/Vaccinations/communityvaccineevent.php.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine or call 888-357-0169.
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