EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – A local medical company plans to join forces with Columbia County to help ease fears amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Right now, no testing sites exist in Columbia County. But that could soon change based on conversations that are happening right now between MedNow Urgent Care CEO Dr. Mark Newton and Columbia County government leaders. Dr. Newton said there are already a few sites on the short list.
Early Monday, Columbia County Commission Chairman Doug Duncan announced, “We have taken the initiative to partner with MedNow to offer on site, mobile testing center[s] in Columbia County.”
“We had a discussion about all of the anxiety of the citizens, the uncertainty of who’s positive and who’s negative. What are the standards and the high risk groups? In that conversation, we were able to come up with a plan that we can offer something to the residents of the area, in particular, Columbia County,” Dr. Newton said.
MedNow has been servicing people for a decade, starting in Columbia County back then, Dr. Newton told us. And now, he wants the urgent care to join others on the front lines of keeping people safe and giving them answers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Look forward to doing some screenings as early as Wednesday at some locations that we’ve looked at that would be appropriate for the people who have been pre-screened on the website and have been determined to have some of the highest risks factors,” he said. “We look forward to being able to get them in a drive thru screening starting Wednesday, is our target.”
Dr. Newton explained that the drive thru sites on the short list will not be any of the current MedNow locations. Those will still service people with conditions unrelated to coronavirus. He said talks are in the works for Patriots Park and the Columbia County Exhibition Center. And not just anyone will be able to go there. Here’s how it will work. Dr. Newton said MedNow launched Telehealth on getmednow.net a month ago. It offers telemedicine now, but that site will have an additional section for COVID-19 screening. Patients, and not just those in Columbia County, will need to be screened through the telemedicine feature first and be scheduled to go to a drive thru testing site in Columbia County.
“And if we determine that it’s worth testing and it’s the appropriate time, with the limited number of tests, we will give them an appointment and a time, a window where they can come through the drive thru, not have to expose anybody, have to be exposed to anybody themselves. They can do it from their cars,” he said.
At this point, people will not be able to just go to one of the selected drive thru testing sites in Columbia County. You will need to first go through a telemedicine doctor online, be screened and then be scheduled to go through one of the drive thru testing sites.