Public Health ended free testing here, but local residents have other options
Although the Public Health Department in Cairo has stopped offering free COVID-19 tests for now, local residents still have the option of getting tested for free at health departments in some neighboring counties or paying for tests at local doctors’ offices.
Free tests are still available at the health departments in Thomas, Decatur and Colquitt counties on varying days. During the month of March, test appointments may be made for the mornings of Mondays and Thursdays in Thomas County; Tuesdays and Fridays in Colquitt County and Wednesdays in Decatur County. Testing is conducted between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon for each of those counties.
A testing site at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds in Dougherty County is operational 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturdays during March.
Appointments are encouraged and may be made online at covid19.dph.ga.gov or by calling (229) 352-6567.
Local doctor’s offices all offer the rapid COVID-19 test, and most offer the test where samples are sent to a lab and results are known 2-10 days later. Although most offer this to established patients only, Grady Primary Care and MainStreet Family Care say they will test anyone.
When asked during telephone interviews, each of the local offices reported the rapid test results are known between 15 and 45 minutes.
At Grady Primary Care, 235 First Ave. N.E., rapid tests are $85 cash pay, or $65 for the longer lab test, according to their office. Patients who wish to file with insurance must also have an office visit. Patients are seen on a walk-in or appointment basis. To schedule an appointment or ask for assistance at their car, patients may call (229) 378-2214.
At MainStreet Family Care, 440 U.S. 84, appointments are not necessary, but patients must register online at www.mainstreetfamilycare.com the day they wish to be seen. Registration opens 30 minutes before the clinic opens at 8 a.m., weekdays, and 9 a.m. on weekends. Costs for the tests varies by patient, according to the office.
Those offices testing established patients only include Cairo Internal Medicine, Cairo Medical Care and Quail Ridge Medical Practice. Appointments are required at each doctor’s office.
At Quail Ridge Medical Practice, 1 Doctors Park, rapid tests are $60 cash pay, and they will take insurance.
At Cairo Internal Medicine, 1090 Fifth St. S.E., cost for the rapid test varies based on insurance.
At Cairo Medical Care, 1178 Fifth St. S.E., they offer both the rapid test and the molecular test sent to a lab. Cash pay for such tests is $85 plus $56 for the visit, and insurance is accepted.