District Moves to Appointment only COVID-19 Testing

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, July 9, 2020

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Release from West Central Health District:  July 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm:

Due to the extreme demand for COVID-19 testing, the West Central Health District will begin an appointment only schedule starting Monday, July 13th.  All persons who want to be tested must pre-register at www.westcentralhealthdistrict.com and select an appointment time, along with the county location. Although testing is available for anyone*, we recommend testing if you are a DIRECT** contact of someone who has COVID-19 and you have waited at least 10 days since being exposed OR you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19.  “Our staff have been working overtime to accommodate our residents, and we must ensure their safety”, said Dr. Beverley Townsend, District Health Director. “Our team would like to ensure that all other public health services are still available to our residents.”

Residents may register for appointments now, and some locations have already seen days fill up. All persons to be tested at Georgia health departments must be Georgia residents, but they do not have to be symptomatic. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

Fever, Chills, Headache, Cough, Nausea, Diarrhea, Muscle Pain, Sore Throat, Congestion or runny nose, Shortness of Breath, Repeated Shaking with Chills, New Loss of Taste or Smell


Specimen collection is held Monday through Friday, from 7:00 am to 11:00 am, in the parking lot behind the Columbus Health Department, on 11th Avenue and Center Street.  There is no charge for testing at any health department location.


Other locations for COVID-19 testing include urgent care centers, drug stores, and pharmacies.



Sumter County:  Monday and Wednesday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm  229-924-3637


We urge all individuals to practice these prevention measures:


  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when you go to a store, office, or public place.
  • Remember social distancing: six feet between you and the person closest to you.
  • Wash your handsoften with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touchingyour eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contactwith people who are sick.
  • Stay homewhen you are sick.
  • Cover your coughor sneezewith a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfectfrequently touched objects and surfaces.


For more information, people may call our COVID-19 call center at 706-321-6300, or visit  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html  or www.westcentralhealthdistrict.com.



*DPH does not recommend requiring a negative test result before returning to school or work.  School systems and employers should follow quarantine and isolation guidance found at: https://westcentralhealthdistrict.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Quarantine-and-Isolation_508.pdf.


**Being within 6 six feet or less for more than 15 minutes.