WRENS, Ga. (WJBF) — In the early stages of the pandemic, larger cities in the United States were the main focus for COVID-19 outbreaks. Concerns are now shifting in rural areas, and the risk can be more severe.
“We need to bring access to them,” said Community Health Care Systems, Inc. Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Kavanaugh Chandler. “Patients need to know their status, so they can get back in the communities once we start to open up. Also, to know they can help the economy grow at a point in which they are safe and healthy.”
Testing is vital in understanding the spread of the coronavirus. In Wrens, nurses are conducting free COVID-19 tests to the community.
“If you need care or access, come out and see us,” expressed Dr. Chandler. “We have the means to test you so that we can keep the community safe to get over this pandemic.”
Sixty million Americans live in what are considered rural areas. Most of them are older, and keeping them healthy is the goal. One of the biggest issues is the lack of healthcare workers in those areas.
“We need more people to come in rural communities to work here and to be a part of what we are doing,” said Dr. Chandler. “This is the backbone of America in many ways.”
Making sure everyone has access to testing is the ultimate mission for CHCS.
“Being able to provide access to anyone who feels that they may have symptoms, so they can feel comfortable getting back into the community,” said Dr. Kavanaugh Chandler.
There are 15 Community Health Care Systems, Inc. in Georgia. The Wrens site tested more than 200 people. Dr. Chandler says another free testing event could happen if there is a need.