CLAYTON—A total of 147 people took advantage of the first free COVID-19 testing offered in Rabun County Tuesday.
Georgia Dept. of Public Health District 2 employees joined forces with Rabun County Health Department Staff to administer the drive-thru tests in the Clayton Baptist Church parking lot.
“I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said local resident Larry Lynn as he sat in the testing line that was moving along at a fairly quick pace.
“This is long overdue. It’s like we are the forgotten corner of the state when it comes to anything the state does,” he added.
Other counties have been offering the tests, which consist of a nasal swab used to collect samples that are sent off to a laboratory for testing (Specimen Point of Collection) for more than a month, but Tuesday marked the first day such a site was available in Rabun County.
Previously, Rabun County residents who wanted a free COVID-19 test were required to travel to a neighboring county.
“I like the convenience of it,” said Ron Capps of Tiger as he waited his turn. “We didn’t think much about it when you had to go to another county (for the test). But there are more cases here now, and I was in a car with a friend who had symptoms.”
Michael Russell of Atlanta has a home on Lake Burton, and said he came for the test to make sure he would not infect family members.
“We spend a lot of time with my mother,” Russell said. “She’s high risk, so we want to take all the precautions we can.”
Testing will resume Aug. 11 and again Aug. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at the Clayton Baptist Church parking lot.
Individuals who want to be tested for COVID-19 should call the Rabun County Health Department at 706-212-0289 to schedule a time to get tested. With an appointment, the average time to get through the SPOC is three to five minutes.
“I thought it went really well,” said Sue Darnell, office manager at the Rabun County Health Department. “We’re looking forward to next week.”