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Where to get tested without waiting in long lines

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 7:56 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Many people across the Chattahoochee Valley want to get tested for COVID but aren’t having any luck booking appointments. There are four local locations where you and your family can go to avoid long waits in line.

Starting Wednesday, the Columbus Health Department will be at Peachtree Mall off Manchester Expressway at 9 a.m. providing drive-thru, self-swabbing COVID tests.

Looking to beat the long lines of people trying to get a COVID test? Well now is your chance. There are multiple places throughout the Chattahoochee Valley where you can go and avoid waiting for hours.

The first location is Harris County.

“In Harris County, we’re having it at the agriculture building, which is located on Highway 116 in Hamilton,” said Pamela Kirkland at the Columbus Health Department. “It’s also known as the Cattlemen’s Barn.”

Free drive-thru COVID testing in Harris County is available until Feb. 4, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. Hamilton residents needing to get vaccinated can visit the local health department on Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Registration is strongly encourage and testing and vaccines are free for all Georgia residents. To register for COVID testing in Harris County, click here.

Another testing site with short waiting periods is at Ward Chapel AME Church on Talbatton Road in Columbus.

News Leader 9 caught up with one person who went to the church Tuesday and got tested within 10 minutes.

“It was real nice,” said Columbus resident Albert Cauley. “Real nice. Real sweet ladies and everything. It didn’t take long and I’ll come back and do it again tomorrow if I have to.”

The Columbus Health Department has also began providing free drive-thru COVID tests at the Shirley B Winston Recreation Center. That service is provided Monday through Friday from 9 a-m until noon. But, one health official says keep this in mind when visiting that location.

“We don’t want to have too many people that go to Shirley Winston just because it’s going to be a little bit harder to control the traffic there,” said Kirkland.

To help with the high volume of traffic at the recreation center, the National Guard has been called in. However, the health department will be providing drive-thru COVID tests at an additional location on Tuesday. Officials are also recommending registration for those that visit that recreation center. To register to receive a COVID test at the Shirley B. Winston Recreation Center, click here.

“It’s going to be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Peachtree mall in the parking lot between JC Penney and the AMC theaters,” said Kirkland. Registration is not required for anyone trying to receive a COVID test at Peachtree mall.

The White House will also be launching a website tomorrow where families can receive up to four free at-home COVID tests in the mail. To get an at-home COVID test click here.

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