July 23rd Update

Good Evening,

I hope everyone is doing well. I am sending the district report for us and all surrounding counties. Please note the cases are climbing, hospital rates are climbing, and the deaths are climbing. It is imperative that we do everything we can to slow down the spread of this virus. There is so much debate and misinformation that I am faced with on a daily basis and the sad part is….those that want to believe what they want to believe will only listen to what meets their way of thinking….until it happens to them or someone they love. The worse thing you can say to me is, “There is a recovery rate of 99.5%. Why are you so worried about a virus that has a high recovery rate?” (This is a number I have seen so I’m using it. This is not an exact recovery rate).  My answer to that is, “how heartless do you have to be to say something like that?” What about that small percentage that is a large percentage of someone’s family or heart?” What about the 14 Dooly County residents that was part of that small percentage? What about their families? That is why I am so worried. That is why I come to work everyday and do what I do. That is why my staff and I are out there is triple digit heat indexes in full PPE testing people. We are trying to protect that small percentage of people and the other percentage that survive but have lasting medical problems as a result of having COVID 19. I don’t have a political agenda and I don’t care what the street committee says. I care about people. All people. I care about that small percentage that need us to help protect them.
I will be taking tomorrow and this weekend off for a much needed break. My nurse, Sharon Powell, will be in the office for any questions or concerns you may have. She has been a tremendous help to me and she is an excellent nurse. Please feel free to call her if you need assistance tomorrow.
We are trying to go to appointment only testing. Please call the office or register online at www.westcentralhealthdistrict.com to schedule an appointment for free COVID testing. Our results are taking 4-5 days now due to the overwhelming number of people getting tested and the extremely large number of tests going through the lab. We have no control over that. You still  need to follow all guidance that I have sent in the past and will attach again tonight for your reference.
Please stay safe and do your part to help keep others safe as well.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and God Bless,

Cyndi Mercer, RN, PHN

County Nurse Manager

Dooly County Health Department

204 West Union Street

Vienna, Ga. 31092




District Report is below

The number of reported cases in the West Central Health District is 7,003.  The number of deaths from the virus currently stands at 224.


County                   Cases    Deaths         County               Cases   Deaths

Chattahoochee 505 1 Quitman 25 1
Clay 68 2 Randolph 230 26
Crisp 346 13 Schley 33 1
Dooly 230 14 Stewart 235 4
Harris 535 14 Sumter 684 55
Macon 154 10 Talbot 114 3
Marion 113 4 Taylor 54 2
Muscogee 3642 72 Webster 35 2


For more information, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.


The West Central Health District has established a toll-free number for COVID-19 information,  

 1-855-962-0955. After the recording, callers may leave a message which will be returned within   24 hours. The District also has a COVID-19 Call Center; 706-321-6300, Option 1.


Anyone wishing to be tested must register by visiting  www.westcentralhealthdistrict.com   or calling 706-321-6300, Option 1.  All persons to be tested must be Georgia residents, but they do not have to be symptomatic. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:


Fever                                              Chills                                                  Headache

Cough                                             Nausea                                               Diarrhea                              Muscle Pain                                    Sore Throat                                       Congestion or runny nose

Shortness of Breath                        Repeated Shaking with Chills           New Loss of Taste or Smell


Elderly individuals and those with chronic medical conditions have increased risk for COVID-19.


When to get tested:

If a person has been exposed (in close contact for more than 15 minutes) to someone who tested positive for Covid-19, but does not have symptoms, that person should remain in quarantine for 14 days, and wait at least 10 days to be tested.  If a person is symptomatic, or symptoms begin before day 10, then that person should be tested.  A negative test does not mean your quarantine period is over.  You must remain quarantined for the full 14 days.


Specimen collection is held Monday through Friday, from 7:00 am to 11:00 am, in the parking lot behind the former Columbus Health Department, on 11th Avenue and Center Street.  Saturday, July 25th, testing will be from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  There is no charge for testing at any location.  Due to the number of individuals to be tested, wait times may vary at all locations.



     Other County Health Departments offer drive-thru collection, *weather permitting*:  



Chattahoochee Cusseta Tuesday and Thursday

Every other Monday

10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Monday by appt. only


Fort Gaines

Wednesday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm 229-768-2355
Crisp- off site-

J.R Dowdy Building, 1129 N 5th Street, Cordele

Monday, Wednesday, Friday


8:30 am to 11:00 am 229-276-2680


Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm 229-268-4725


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am to 11:30 am 706-628-5037


Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 am to 10:30 am 478-472-8121

Buena Vista

Monday and Wednesday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm 229-649-5664


Tuesday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm 229-334-3697


Monday, Thursday, Friday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm 229-732-2414


Monday and Tuesday 9:00 am to 11:00 am 229-937-2208


Wednesday and Friday

Every other Monday

10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Monday by appt. only



Monday and Wednesday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm 229-924-3637


Monday and Wednesday 8:30 am to 11:00 am 706-786-6410


Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 am to 11:00 am 478-862-5628


Monday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm  1:00 pm to 3:00 pm 229-828-3225



Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center if you have been exposed to someone with the virus, and if you have symptoms.


We urge all individuals to practice these prevention measures:


  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when you go to a store, office, or public place.
  • Remember social distancing: six feet between you and the person closest to you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


For more information, people may call our COVID-19 call center at 706-321-6300, or visit  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html  or www.westcentralhealthdistrict.com.




Pamela Kirkland


Public Relations/Information Coordinator

West Central Health District

Columbus Health Department

2100 Comer Ave

Columbus, GA 31904



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