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Walmart staffs coronavirus drive-thru testing unit in Georgia

Cortney Moore

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As the state of Georgia partially reopens, Gov. Brian Kemp has announced a mobile coronavirus testing unit that will be partially staffed by Walmart health workers.

The nation's largest retailer suggested that more mobile testing units could be in the works in the state.

Walmart Public Affairs Director for Georgia Glen Wilkins said the company is "committed to supporting the state of Georgia’s efforts to expand COVID-19 testing, especially in communities that have had limited access to testing."

He added, "We are grateful to our pharmacists and associates who are supporting these testing sites, and to [clinical service network] eTrueNorth and local officials as we work together to open sites that will help Georgians access timely testing."

Starting Monday, drive-thru testing stations will be placed in Augusta (Hephzibah), Milledgeville, and Tifton on a rotating basis.

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"Serving Augusta, Milledgeville, Tifton, and the surrounding regions, this mobile unit will be a game-changing step in our efforts to ensure access to COVID-19 across Georgia," said Kemp in a press release. "Increased testing is critical as we continue the measured process of safely reopening parts of our state, and I am grateful to our many partners with Walmart, eTrueNorth, and in these communities which provided support to get this operation online."

The mobile unit will test residents of Georgia who are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. Health care providers and first responders who are on the frontlines and face coronavirus patients or at risk of exposure will be able to get tested even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.

Appointments can be scheduled online at www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com or in-person at the testing facility. Appointments made online will be screened to ensure individuals meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eligibility for testing.

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The tests will be administered in a drive-thru fashion with patients self-swabbing their nasal cavities in the comforts of their own car while trained medical professionals watch. No walk-ups will be welcome "for the safety of all those on-site."

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Once testing is completed, patients will seal their sample in a container and drop it off in a designated area.

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The U.S. has well over 940,000 infections as of Sunday, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.

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All tests will be processed by eTrueNorth, a contractor approved by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The company will also relay testing results to patients and applicable departments of health.

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