COVID-19: Numbers Rise, Testing Sites Re-open, Vaccines

COVID-19: Numbers Rise, Testing Sites Re-open

August 25, 2021


We want to take this time to let our citizens know that Gordon County, Calhoun, leadership and public safety from all municipalities continue to work alongside each other to address issues relevant to COVID-19 within our community by communicating daily and holding bi-weekly meetings. These bi-weekly meetings serve as a tool to make sure we are all collaborating together to stay up to date on our current situation as well as that around our nation. We monitor numbers daily to include increases in the number of cases and deaths both statewide and in Gordon County. We monitor our local hospitals on the number of COVID-19 cases including bed and ventilator availability. We also monitor the number of students and staff affected by COVID-19 in the local school systems, as well as, the number of residents and staff in the long term healthcare facilities exposed to and/or diagnosed with COVID-19.

The latest meeting of the local taskforce was held on August 24th. It was noted that with the current spike in cases occurring many people are seeking to be tested if they feel they have been exposed or may be experiencing some COVID related symptoms. It is important to remember that none of our local public safety first responders (EMS, emergency management, fire department, law enforcement or E9-1-1) have the ability to conduct on site testing at residences. Also, when pertaining to emergency medical services (EMS) the 9-1-1 system should only be used for life threatening emergencies such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, seizures, severe bleeding, altered level of consciousness, etc… The goal is to keep emergency lines available for emergencies. If you are unsure if 9-1-1 should be called, always err on the side of caution and a trained communications officer will be able to assist you with your concern.

While public safety does not have the ability to test patients on scene, the state has opened up testing sites where citizens can be tested free of charge. If you find yourself needing a test and are healthy enough to travel, the Georgia Department of Public Health has contracted with MAKO Medical to provide free COVID-19 testing at convenient locations around the state. In Northwest Georgia, MAKO Medical will provide free drive-up COVID-19 testing in Bartow, Catoosa, Cherokee, Gilmer and Whitfield counties. There are no eligibility requirements for free testing at these sites other than having a Georgia address and registering online at For those without internet access, assistance with registration by telephone is available at 919-351-6256. MAKO Medical will provide test results within two to three days by either signing up for their portal at or by opting for notification via text message during the registration process.

Test sites and dates are:

Bartow County (beginning Thursday, August 26)
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am to 7 PM
LakePointe Sports Complex
261 Stars Way
Emerson, GA 30121

Catoosa County (beginning Wednesday, August 25)
Mondays and Wednesdays 10 AM to 7 PM
The Colonnade
264 Catoosa Circle
Ringgold, GA 30736

Cherokee County
Monday – Friday 8 AM – 3 PM
Action Church
271 Marietta Road
Canton, GA 30114

Gilmer County
Monday and Wednesday 8 AM – 3 PM and Friday 8 AM – 12 PM
Gilmer County Health Department Parking Lot
28 Southside Church St.
Ellijay, GA 30540

Whitfield County
Monday – Friday 8 AM – 3 PM
Edwards Park
115 Edwards Park Entrance
Dalton, GA 30721


In addition to the free testing, vaccines can be received free of charge and no appointments required (but are recommended to lower potential wait time) at the Gordon County Health Department located at 310 North River Street Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. until noon. For appointments please call 706-624-1444. Also, masks and social distancing remain important parts of the COVID-19 response.

We will continue to monitor situations daily and do all that we can to keep our citizens safe. Since the beginning of this pandemic we have worked diligently to try and stay ahead of this virus as a team here in Gordon County. We ask that our citizens continue to do the things that can be done during this time to help our community as a whole.


Author: Keith King

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