New criteria for COVID testing added in SWGA

Due to the high rate of infection in the region, Southwest Public Health District is greatly expanding its schedule for collection of specimens for COVID-19 testing in Dougherty, Thomas and Mitchell Counties. This specimen collection for COVID-19 testing is available to individuals in the following categories, regardless of county of residence:

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19
  • Adults age 60 or older
  • Caregiver for elderly (age 60 or older)
  • Caregiver for immune compromised person
  • First responder who is critical to the epidemic response
  • Healthcare worker
  • Patient with serious chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease
  • Immune compromised patients
  • Anyone who works or lives in congregate setting
  • NEW! Testing required for employees to return to work

Individuals who want to be tested can contact the call center from 8am to 7pm, Monday through Friday and 8:30am to 5pm Saturday to determine if they are eligible for an appointment. Specimen collection will be done 8:30am to 5pm Monday-Friday and 9am to noon Saturday in Dougherty, Thomas, and Mitchell Counties. Public Health will not be charging for this service, said Dr. Charles Ruis, District Health Director for Southwest Public Health District 8-2. 

The call center hotline is (229) 352-6567. 

For information about COVID-19, visit or