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IMPORTANT NOTE: While the Times Free Press is working hard to update this page with timely, accurate information, vaccine distribution plans change rapidly and vary from county to county and state to state. Please check with your local health department for updates to the below information. 

Vaccines to protect against COVID-19 are being administered in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Here is what you need to know about the rollout plans.

*All Tennessee and Georgia residents age 16 and older can now sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. 

 

TENNESSEE

Who can get vaccinated?

All Tennesseans age 16 and older.

How to get vaccinated in Hamilton County:

Starting Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Hamilton County residents, workers or students ages 16 and up can show up to the health department's first-dose COVID-19 vaccination sites between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. without an appointment and get worked into that day's schedule. 

For those wishing to schedule an appointment, residents can now schedule an appointment in any available time slot and don't have to specifically sign up for a first or second dose slot, according to a news release from the Hamilton County Health Department.

People age 16 years and older who wish to schedule a first or second dose appointment are encouraged to visit vaccine.hamiltontn.gov to make an appointment online. Those who do not have access to the internet can call the appointment call center to make an appointment over the phone:

- Appointment line: 423-209-5398

- Spanish appointment line: 423-209-5384

The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Due to high call volume, callers may experience a busy signal and need to hang up and call back.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County offers same-day COVID-19 shots as concern mounts over low vaccination rate)

Bring: Proof of eligibility, such as a work ID and/or documentation of residency. 

Where: Carta Bus Barn, 1617 Wilcox Boulevard, Chattanooga; or Tennessee Riverpark Hubert Fry Center, 4301 Amnicola Highway.

IMPORTANT: When scheduling your second dose ensure you schedule an appointment for the same brand you received for the first dose. Refer to your vaccination card for vaccine brand information and second dose date range.

Cempa Community Care, along with Galen Medical Group and the UTC School of Nursing, will offer a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination event at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church Saturday April 10. Hours of operation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Moderna vaccine, which requires a second dose, will be offered through this event. Cempa Community Care will host a drive-thru event to administer all second doses on Saturday, May 8, at the same time and location.

When: April 10, May 8 (Moderna).

Where: Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, 4801 Hwy 58, Chattanooga, TN 37416

CHI Memorial Medical Group has 11 primary care clinic locations offering COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment for any current patient. At this time, vaccinations are only open to CHI Memorial Medical Group patients.

The clinics now taking appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations are:

- CHI Memorial Chattanooga Internal Medicine Group

- CHI Memorial Community Health - Hixson

- CHI Memorial Drs. Heinsohn, Donowitz, Rybolt & Nguyen

- CHI Memorial Integrative Medicine Associates – Main St

- CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Chattanooga (Dr. Harless)

- CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Dayton

- CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates - Harrison

- CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Ooltewah

- CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Spring City

- CHI Memorial Internal Medicine Associates – Chattanooga

- CHI Memorial Primary Care Associates - Atrium

 

How to get vaccinated in Southeast Tennessee:

People seeking vaccination in Tennessee counties outside of Hamilton County should call the Southeast Tennessee regional health department number at 866-442-5301 to make an appointment.

For more information, visit the Tennessee Department of Health here. 

 

GEORGIA

Who can get vaccinated?

All Georgians age 16 and older.

How to get vaccinated:

UPDATE: For a limited time, Georgians age 16 and older will have access to a Walk-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. No appointment will be required and there is no cost to clients, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

These limited no-appointment walk-up clinics will be conducted by Public Health Departments at their current COVID-19 vaccine clinic sites in Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties, April 19-April 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Health insurance will be accepted if presented, but there is no out-of-pocket expense to clients.

Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be offered, as available. Teens ages 16 to 18 are only permitted the Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Locations for participating county public health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic sites:

Fannin County: Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge, 124 Jones St., Blue Ridge, GA 30213

Gilmer County: Piedmont Community Center, 824 Industrial Blvd., Ellijay, GA 30540

Murray County: Murray County Parks & Recreation Dept, 651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705

Pickens County: Pickens County Recreation Department, 1329 Camp Road, Jasper, GA 30143

Whitfield County: Whitfield County Health Department, 800 Professional Blvd., Dalton, GA 30720

The Catoosa-Dade-Walker Vaccination Station at the Colonnade in Ringgold continues to offer COVID-19 vaccinations.

Eligible Georgia residents, as well as eligible Georgia workers who live in neighboring counties in Tennessee and Alabama, can now sign up online for an appointment here. Additionally, Georgia residents can fill out this required Vaccine Information and Consent Form online, print the form and bring it to their scheduled vaccine appointment.

A direct link to the Vaccination Station sign-up site can be found on the following government websites and Facebook pages:

Catoosa County: catoosa.com; Catoosa County Government on Facebook

Dade County: dadecounty-ga.gov; Dade County Georgia on Facebook

Walker County: walkercountyga.gov; Walker County Georgia Government on Facebook

By registering for an appointment at the at the Vaccination Station, a vaccination will be reserved for each person. Failure to show up for a scheduled appointment means a vaccine is unavailable for someone else in need.

The vaccination process takes about 30-minutes from the time of arrival at the Catoosa Colonnade. An express lane will be offered for those who bring their printed and completed Vaccine Information and Consent form in advance of their scheduled appointment at the Vaccination Station.

Effective Monday, March 22, the North Georgia Health District will transfer registration for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to the Georgia Department of Public Health online portal. People seeking an appointment at public health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitfield counties must register at https://gta-vras.powerappsportals.us/.

Public health COVID-19 vaccine appointment registration is also available through the DPH Health Department Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at 888-457-0186, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Additionally, residents may find both public and private COVID-19 vaccination sites by going to DPH's Georgia Vaccine Locator at https://dph.georgia.gov/locations/covid-vaccination-site or may make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at the Georgia Mass Vaccination Site Registration link at https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/.

Over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have been provided by public health in the North Georgia Health District and the county health departments are accepting new appointments as vaccine supplies are increasingly available. People who are currently eligible in Georgia for COVID-19 vaccine are urged to arrange a vaccination appointment right away.

Pfizer vaccine is only available at Cherokee and Whitfield county COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 vaccine may go to the North Georgia Health District website at Questions About COVID-19 Vaccine? or may call the GA COVID-19 Hotline at 888-357-0169.

Residents in Chattooga, Gordon, Dade, Catoosa and Walker counties may register for an appointment by calling local health departments:

Chattooga County: 706-857-3471

Gordon County: 706-624-1444

Dade County: 706-657-6181

Catoosa County: 423-800-8004

Walker County: 706-670-1234

Residents of Whitfield County and Murray County may register online for a COVID-19 vaccine at https://gta-vras.powerappsportals.us/.

Whitfield County vaccine location: Whitfield County Health Department, 800 Professional Blvd., Dalton, Ga. Mon., Wed., Thurs., 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tues., 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fri., 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Murray County vaccine location: Murray County Parks and Recreation Department, 651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, Ga. Mon. to Thurs., 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Fri., 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The vaccine will continue to be offered at no out-of-pocket expense at all locations; insurance will be billed, but only if it is available. The Whitfield County Health Department has storage capacity to offer both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The other county health departments in the district offer the Moderna vaccine. 

For more information, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health here

 

ALABAMA

Who can get vaccinated?

Alabama is providing COVID-19 vaccinations for people 75 years or older, first responders, including law enforcement and firefighters, and those working or living in congregate settings such as homeless shelters and group homes.

How to get vaccinated:

Schedule an appointment with the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-566-5333.

 

WHEN TO GET TESTED FOR COVID-19

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the people who should get tested are:

* People who have symptoms of COVID-19.

* People who have had close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19.

* People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their health-care provider, local or state health department (usually due to being in a public place where someone who was infected was known to be present).

If you become symptomatic, you should be tested right away. However, there is no definitive or official recommendation for when asymptomatic people should be tested. It is not known exactly how soon after exposure you might become contagious, but studies show that half of those who are going to turn positive will do so within four to five days, and over 97% will do so within 11 1/2 days. So if you remain asymptomatic, it would appear reasonable to wait five days after being exposed before getting tested. 

Read more from Dr. Paul M. Hendricks on when you should get tested here.

 

 

HOW TO GET TESTED

In Hamilton County: 

The Hamilton County Health Department will discontinue the use of the Alstom Plant for COVID-19 testing and will convert the location to a COVID-19 vaccination distribution site, according to a news release. March 13 will be the last day residents can receive COVID-19 testing from the site.

- Cempa Community Care offers free COVID-19 testing at Alleo Health System, located at 4411 Oakwood Drive in Chattanooga. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

- Clinica Medicos offers free COVID-19 testing seven days a week at 1300 E. 23rd St. in Chattanooga. You can make an appointment beforehand by calling 423-760-4000 for more information and to schedule your test.

- LifeSpring Community Health offers drive-thru COVID-19 testing located at 2507 McCallie Avenue in Chattanooga. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

- Premiere Community Health Center, Dodson Avenue Community Health Center and Southside Community Health Center will all offer free COVID-19 testing beginning Monday, May 18, 2020. 

Southside:

3800 Tennessee Ave. Ste. 124

Chattanooga, TN 37409

Dodson Avenue:

1200 Dodson Ave.

Chattanooga, TN 37406

Premier Health:

251 N. Lyerly St. Suite 300

Chattanooga, TN 37404

Private physicians and clinics are also providing COVID-19 testing. You can find a list of testing sites from the state here and from the county by visiting http://health.hamiltontn.org/AllServices/Coronavirus(COVID-19)/HealthDepartmentAffiliatedFREETestingSitesinHamiltonCounty.aspx.

 

In Southeast Tennessee (all times below are for Monday-Friday): 

- Bradley County Health Department
2800 Westside Dr NW, Cleveland, TN 
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST

- Franklin County Health Department
266 Joyce Lane, Winchester, TN
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. CST

- Grundy County Health Department
1372 Main Street, Altamont, TN
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. CST

- McMinn County Health Department
393 County Road 554, Athens, TN
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST

- Rhea County Health Department
334 Eagle Lane, Evensville, TN
8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. EST

-Sequatchie County Health Department
16939 Rankin Avenue, Dunlap, TN
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. CST

 

In Northwest Georgia: 

COVID-19 testing will no longer be offered at the Catoosa, Chattooga, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Polk, or Walker County health departments. Test sites at the West Rome Baptist Church in Rome and the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville will be closed.

Testing will remain free. Anyone who wants to get tested can get tested but testing is especially recommended for anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and for close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases on their tenth day of quarantine.

All test sites will feature convenient drive-up processing.  No appointments will be needed.  Test sites in Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties will feature supervised self-collection. 

- Chattooga County

Where: North Summerville Baptist Church at 119 Maplewood Drive

When: Tuesdays and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

- Dade County

Where: Dade County Health Department at 71 Case Avenue, Ste. H-100, Trenton, Ga.

When: Wednesdays and the fifth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. - noon and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Gordon County

Where: Senior Center, 150 Cambridge Court, Calhoun

When: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, first Saturday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Murray County

Where: Woodstock First Baptist Church, 11905 Highway 92, Woodstock, GA 30188

(Please enter via Trickum Rd/Gunnin Rd entrance)

When: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Free, drive-thru testing is available but residents must register here first: https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.

 

- Walker County

Where: Chattanooga Valley Nazarene Church at 2853 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, Ga.

When: Thursdays, Fridays and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 9 a.m. - noon and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Whitfield County

Where: Edwards Park, 115 Edwards Park, Dalton, GA 30721

When: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Free, drive-thru testing is available but residents must register here first: https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.

_________

Northwest Georgia residents can also call one of four phone numbers from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to be screened and scheduled for testing at a convenient location. The health department will give residents the testing location once an appointment is made. 

Those phone numbers are:

(706) 802-5329

(706) 802-5885

(706) 802-5886

(706) 802-5888

Residents can also email district1-1.eoc@dph.ga.gov anytime and ask to be referred for a test. People are asked to give their name and phone number so a public health worker can be in touch. 

The state health department will also announce periodic drive-thru testing sites at various counties. For more information on those sites, visit www.nwgapublichealth.org. You do not have to live in a county to be tested in a county if drive-thru testing is offered. 

For more information about COVID-19 visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

How we report on coronavirus numbers

Confirmed case data only provides a snapshot of the coronavirus outbreak and shouldn't be taken as an accurate reflection of how many people are currently infected.

Laboratories are required to report positive COVID-19 test results to local health departments, such as the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, as soon as results are available in order to support a rapid response. The Tennessee Department of Health and other state department numbers are updated at set times during the day, so there may be a lag in the reporting of state level data.

It's impossible to know how many COVID-19 tests are pending, since both public and private labs are used for testing, and providers do not report when a sample is collected. Negative results are sometimes available depending on the agency and its method of tracking COVID-19.

The Times Free Press uses numbers from credible county, state, national and international public health agency sources in our coverage of coronavirus and other infectious diseases. The newspaper also may report on COVID-19 cases that the newspaper has independently verified in an effort to keep our readers as informed as possible.

All data are subject to variations and changes based on access, availability, methods and other factors that can affect data collection, making health data rarely perfect.

— Elizabeth Fite, health care reporter

______

 

Call the Chattanooga-Hamilton County coronavirus hotline at 423-209-8383 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or the Tennessee Department of Health hotline at 877-857-2945 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. central time daily.

 

 

 

This story was updated at 11:09 p.m. on April 15, 2021, with more information.

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