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Focus to Shift from Testing to Vaccinating

COVID Testing North GA 2NORTH GA– In response to the upcoming expansion of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination in Georgia, county health departments in North Georgia Health District 1-2 will transition their focus from COVID-19 testing to meeting an increased demand for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Beginning January 11, testing will be offered at health departments in Fannin, Gilmer, Murray and Pickens counties Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM for symptomatic first responders, school employees and court staff. In Cherokee and Whitfield counties, COVID-19 testing will continue to be provided to anyone who needs it Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 11 AM, but by appointment only. To make an appointment for testing in Cherokee and Whitfield counties, call 1-888-881-1474.

This change will help meet the need to provide vaccines to a much larger portion of residents during the COVID-19 vaccination phases identified by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Residents should monitor the North Georgia Health District website at for further updates and announcements regarding COVID-19 testing in North Georgia.

Beginning January 11, adults 65 years of age and older will be included among those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1-A (refer to phases below), based on vaccine availability. Please watch for announcements containing instructions on where and how to get vaccinated on our here on our website, our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and in the local media.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia at

DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Planbigstock Doctor drawing up Covid vac 368578954 large 580x387

Georgia is currently in Phase 1: Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Availability

Phase 1-A

Phase 1-A includes (*as of the date of this press release) paid and unpaid persons serving in a healthcare setting who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Hospital staff, public health clinical staff, EMS, and other first responders, long term care facility (LTCF) staff, and urgent care facility staff are examples of people who will be included in this phase.

Additional examples include:

  • Staff in clinical settings (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, EMS, laboratory staff, environmental services, LTCF staff etc.)
  • LTCF Residents
Georgia Vaccine Plan

Follow the plan for distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia.

COVID-19 Vaccine Plan (1.24 MB)

*Beginning January 11, all adults 65 years of age and older, law enforcement and fire personnel.

Phase 1-B

Phase 1-B will include other essential workers and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

Examples of people that will be included in this Phase are listed below:

  • Critical workforce employees (e.g., pharmacy staff, educational faculty and staff, correctional facility staff, court employees, food processors, grocery store workers, transportation staff, nuclear power plant employees, air traffic controllers, etc.) 
Phase 1-C

Phase 1-C will include people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness, not vaccinated during Phase 1-A or Phase 1-B.

Examples of this population include:

  • Other essential workers
  • Adults below age 65 with significant comorbidities