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The state Department of Public Health (DPH) on Wednesday announced that its testing criteria has been revised to include “all symptomatic individuals.” Patients still need a referral from a physician or health department worker and an appointment to receive the test. Douglas County’s first testing site opened at Hunter Park last week and an official said tests continue to be scheduled there every day.

COVID-19 testing is ramping up in Douglas County as the spread of the disease continues to take its toll, with a sixth death in the county caused by the coronavirus reported by the state Tuesday.

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) on Wednesday announced that its testing criteria has been revised to include “all symptomatic individuals.” Previously, DPH guidelines for being tested had only included those at high risk of spreading the disease such as first responders.

Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) opened a drive-through testing site at Hunter Park in Douglasville last Friday. The Hunter Park site is the second for CDPH, which opened its first testing center at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta last month.

CDPH spokesperson Valerie Crow said as of early Wednesday, 54 people had been tested at Hunter Park. Crow said CDPH continues to schedule people everyday for testing.

Under the new guidelines set by the state, patients suspected of having COVID-19 can be tested at local health department sites, including Hunter Park, if they are referred by health department staff or by a physician.

An appointment is still needed to be tested. Crow suggests that anyone who suspects they qualify for COVID-19 testing through CDPH contact their doctor or complete an assessment at

A 32-year-old man with underlying health conditions is the sixth person from Douglas County to die from COVID-19, the state DPH reported Tuesday evening.

Douglas County’s last death from COVID-19 prior to Tuesday was reported on April 5. The other deaths in Douglas include a 58-year-old woman and men ages 56, 66, 78 and 84. DPH reports that five of the deaths involved people with underlying conditions; only the 66-year-old man did not have underlying health conditions.

Douglas County had 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon. The DPH reported that 14,987 cases had been confirmed across Georgia and that 552 people in the state had died from the disease.

Meanwhile, Douglasville Nursing and Rehabilitation is among 138 long-term care facilities the state DPH lists as having cases of COVID-19.

The state DPH began reporting cases of the disease earlier this month and will update the list weekly.

The most recent report on April 12 shows six confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Douglasville Nursing and Rehabilitation. No deaths from the disease have been reported at the facility.

No other long-term care facilities in Douglas County have reported cases of the virus.

In neighboring Carroll County, Pine Knoll in Carrollton reports five cases and one death; Carrollton Manor reports two cases and four deaths; and Cottage Landing in Carrollton reports five cases and no deaths.

The state DPH recommends the following to slow the spread of COVID-19:

Stay home — the governor has issued a shelter-in-place Executive Order that should be observed by all residents and visitors.

Practice social distancing — keep at least six feet between yourself and other people.

Wash your hands — use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if soap and water aren’t readily available.

Wear a mask — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially where socials distancing is difficult to maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.), and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.