NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Free at home COVID 19 tests from COVID.govNorth Georgia – Testing for COVID-19 is still critical to continue reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and now those tests are even more readily available.

Free COVID-19 At-Home Test Kits are provided by the federal government in partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS). Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order the free COVID-19 home tests and have them delivered straight to their door.

To order, go to covid.gov/tests. If help is needed with placing an order, call 1-800-232-0233 to be assisted in either English or Spanish. Anyone with a hearing impairment who needs assistance may use TTY 1-888-720-7489.

Here is what to expect after placing an order:

  • Each order currently includes 8 rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • An order of 8 tests will come in 2 separate packages (4 tests in each package), each with its own tracking number
  • Packages will ship free

Here are reasons to test for COVID-19:

  • If experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • It is at least 5 days after a known or suspected close contact to COVID-19
  • For screening (schools, workplaces, congregate settings, etc.)
  • To protect before and after travel
  • When asked by a healthcare professional or public health official to do so

Go to covid.gov/tests to order the free COVID-19 At-Home Test Kits without delay.

COVID 19 Testing web

MAKO will continue operating at Dalton drive-thru site 

North GA – MAKO Medical drive-thru COVID-19 testing will close in Woodstock after operations on Friday, June 3rd at the JJ Biello Park Riverside Athletic Complex. The address is 610 Druw Cameron Court, Woodstock, GA 30188 and the site is currently operating Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 3 PM.

COVID-19 cases have decreased in Georgia and home test kits are easily available, causing the numbers of residents seeking services from the test sites to dwindle drastically.

Public health officials continue to urge people to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, if they have COVID-19 type symptoms or have been in recent close contact to a person infected with the virus.

The MAKO test site that will remain open in North Georgia is at Pleasant Grove Park in Dalton. Please note the address and hours of operation:

Pleasant Grove Park
1732 Pleasant Grove Drive, N.E., Dalton, GA 30721
Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 3 PM
 

COVID-19 testing is free at this site and there are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering at https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/. This is PCR testing done by a mid-nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. It is not an antigen or antibody test.

DPH News Release banner
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                               
May 17, 2022
 
                                                                                      
DPH Urges Parents to Talk to Their Pediatricians for
Guidance During Baby Formula Shortage  
 
Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging parents unable to find baby formula typically used for their child to contact their pediatrician about appropriate nutritional and safe feeding alternatives. Georgia WIC is working with WIC agencies statewide, local grocers and retailers, and formula manufacturers to help locate formula for clients, especially those in need of specialized formula.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is offering guidance for parents that are having difficulty finding baby formula: 
  • Watering down baby formula is dangerous and can cause nutritional imbalances that may lead to serious health problems. Always mix formula as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Homemade baby formulas are not advised. While recipes may seem healthy, they are not safe and do not meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
  • Buy baby formula online but only from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies. 
  • Be leery of ads on social media. You can check out a company’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at www.bbb.org.
  • Do not use imported formulas from other countries that are not reviewed by the FDA.
  • Only prepare the amount of formula you will use - throw out any infant formula that is left in the bottle after feeding your baby.
  • It is recommended that during the shortage you buy no more than a 10-day to two-week supply of formula.
For a complete list of AAP guidance and tips for finding formula during the shortage, visit healthychildren.org. Parents should not hesitate to talk to their pediatrician with any concerns about their baby's health and nutrition.
 
WIC clients who need help finding formula or who have questions should contact their local WIC office or call 1-800-228-9173.
 
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is warning Georgia consumers to beware of price gouging and other scams in response to the nationwide baby formula shortage. Consumers can report scams and suspected price gouging to the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) by calling 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123. Georgians can also file a complaint online by visiting CPD’s website.
 
DPH will continue to monitor all information coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and formula manufacturers regarding the shortage and work to ensure Georgia babies have access to food and nutrition they need to grow healthy and strong.
 
Nancy Nydam
Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street, N.E., 15th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 657-2462
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New GA Lead Law for ChildrenAtlanta – There is no safe amount of lead in a child’s blood. Even small amounts of lead can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, cause behavioral problems, learning difficulties and other medical issues – all of which may be permanent. However, legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kemp, bolsters protection for Georgia children who may be exposed to lead.

The amount of lead in blood is referred to as the blood lead level, which is measured in micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL). The new Georgia legislation lowers the threshold for confirmed lead poisoning from 20 to 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter. The level is now consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“DPH is extremely grateful to the members of the General Assembly and the Governor for their decisive action which allows for a more robust program for identifying and preventing cases of lead poisoning, and protecting the children of Georgia,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

Those most at risk include children under six years of age, children living at or below the federal poverty level, pregnant women, and those who live in older housing. Often, there are no obvious symptoms of lead exposure.

A simple blood test can detect lead poisoning. A small amount of blood is taken from a finger or heel prick or from a vein in the arm. Based on your child’s blood lead test results, healthcare providers can recommend follow-up actions and care. DPH strongly urges parents to have their children tested for lead.

Lead can be found in many places in a child’s environment, but lead exposure is preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead.