Priority COVID-19 Testing available for All Georgia First Responders
On Monday, June 15, 2020, Governor Brian P. Kemp joined the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) to announce that the State of Georgia will begin COVID-19 priority testing for first responders at all specimen points of collection (SPOC) sites across the state. “As we continue safely reopening our state, it is crucial that we support those who are on the front lines, keeping Georgians healthy and our communities safe,” said Governor Kemp. “We are grateful for our first responders’ willingness to answer the call of duty in these challenging times, and we are committed to ensuring they have every resource necessary to stay healthy as they continue their important work.” “We’ve been working to ensure that every Georgian has access to testing,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Making sure our first responders have quick access to testing helps keep them healthy as they care for their communities.” First responders can go to any SPOC, show their official ID, and be tested. There is no need to set up an appointment.. A list of SPOC locations can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/locations/covid-19-testing-site. “First responders are vital to the health and safety of our communities, and we want to support them by ensuring they are able to be tested quickly and efficiently,” said GEMA/HS Director Homer Bryson. “We also want citizens to be secure, knowing that when a firefighter, paramedic, or police officer goes to a call, those responders have been tested for COVID-19.” As part of the Office of the Governor, GEMA/HS works with local, state, and federal governments, in partnership with the private sector and faith-based community, to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. In addition, GEMA/HS employees are on 24-hour call statewide to assist local authorities when disaster strikes. GEMA/HS’s Ready Georgia campaign helps Georgians prepare for disasters. Go to gema.ga.gov for information on developing a custom emergency plan and Ready kit.