Cairo offers free COVID-19 testing for city employees

Georgia coronavirus
Georgia coronavirus(AP)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 2:34 PM EDT
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CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - The City of Cairo held free COVID-19 testing for its employees.

Mayor Howard Thrower said he and the city came up with this idea to have the Grady County Health Department run the testing site for employees.

Thrower said he was pleased with Wednesday’s turnout.

Testing started at 8 a.m., but he said there were people waiting as early as 7 a.m. to get tested.

“I think people are properly concerned and doing what they need to do, so I feel good about it,” said Thrower.

He said since Grady County has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases, the city felt it was necessary to offer testing to all city employees.

Thrower said 90 employees and non-employees showed up to get tested.

“Right now, what we see is some people who have impaired immune systems or those of us who are just over 60 are at great risk. By checking the employees, we can find those younger people who are carriers, and can put other people at great risk inadvertently,” said Thrower.

"It’s just good to know your status, so if you’re positive, then you need to isolate away from others, and that’s going to help the spread,” said Michelle Thornton, Grady County Health Department director.

She said they want everyone to get tested whether they feel COVID-19 symptoms or not.

“You can be asymptomatic and still share the virus with others,” said Thornton.

Thornton and Thrower are urging everyone to continue wearing their masks, social distance and practice good cough and sneezing hygiene.

“Our overall goal is to encourage everyone to be tested and to let everyone know how severe this is. We are also finding out that the damage that’s done to an infected person, young or old, can be permanent. Especially to the lungs,” said Thornton.

Thrower said after speaking with the city manager on the outcome of this testing, they’ll decide if another one will be needed in a few weeks.

Thornton said she doesn’t know the exact number of positive cases at the moment, but they have definitely seen a rise in Grady County. As of the latest update from the Georgia Department of Public Health, there are 242 positive cases in Grady County.

She also said if you do get tested, it only takes about 72 hours to get your results back.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.

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