Local coalition concerned about coronavirus testing


DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) – “These are elected officials and they serve the people. They do not serve corporations. They do not serve their political parties. They are meant to serve the community and it’s important for them to know what their community feels,” Omar Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is a volunteer and coordinator with the Northwest Georgia Justice Coalition.

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Tuesday night he gave Dalton City Council his concerns.

“The lack of COVID testing, because the department of health has switched to vaccinations, to get testing is very difficult and we have a team of volunteers ready to do so. they will not provide the funding or the tests for us to continue free testing,” Rodriguez said.

Council Member Annalee Harlan tried addressing the issue.

“I did ask him if, where testing has slowed down or stopped and it sounds like it’s through relationships with the health department as through, by order of the governor changes are being made for resources and some of those resources are labor resources. So I couldn’t speak to his point on that,” Harlan said.

While testing may have slowed down, the city is ramping up COVID vaccinations.

In coordination with the health department, they opened a satellite site at the Dalton Convention Center for the first time on Monday.

“We’ve administered approximately 640 doses yesterday of the COVID vaccine. We’re slated to do about 700 tomorrow and we hope to continue this just based on availability of vaccine in the days and weeks to come,” Harlan said.

They’re vaccinating Georgia residents who are  65 and older.

Those residents don’t have to be from the Dalton area.

People have to register to get a shot, but registration is closed until they get more vaccines.

The city should know by Thursday afternoon how many more vaccines they will be getting.