The Chatham County Health Department is transitioning to an appointment only process for COVID-19 testing beginning Monday, November 16, 2020. The testing criteria has not changed, and anyone can be tested for free by utilizing an online self-scheduling portal or through a COVID-19 testing hotline. The change is expected to help the department maximize internal resources during this long-term emergency response. “We need to position ourselves to sustain testing operations for many more months,” said Chris Rustin, Ph.D., Administrator of the Chatham County Health Department. “With appointments, we can reduce the number of staff members onsite for traffic flow and patient registration while still meeting the needs of our community.” There will be more than 1,600 available appointments each week in Chatham County, which exceeds the current weekly average of 1,350 tests. The testing schedule has not changed. Appointments can be made online at covid19.dph.ga.gov or by calling the Coastal Health District COVID19 Testing Call Center at 912-230-9744. The Call Center is operational Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. For a list of all the free COVID-19 testing options through the Coastal Health District, visit covid19.gachd.org.