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Drive-through test site at hospital to close

SPRINGFIELD -- Friday will be the final day for COVID-19 testing at the Coastal Health District’s drive-through specimen collection site in Springfield.

The district has operated the site outside the Effingham Health System’s hospital for more than a year, collecting specimens for COVID-19 PCR testing. When the site opened in September 2021, more than 400 specimens were collected the first week. The peak usage came in January of this year when almost 1,000 people visited the site for testing in a single week. However, with improved access to other testing options, demand at drive-through specimen collection sites has fallen sharply. Two weeks ago, the Effingham site only collected one specimen for testing, and last week no specimens were collected.

“We realize people still need access to testing, but there are so many more ways to be tested now than when the site opened a year ago,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, health director of the Coastal Health District. “All of the health departments in the Coastal Health District, including the Effingham County Health Department, offer free at-home test kits. And if someone needs a PCR test, the specimen collection site in west Chatham County is still operational, as are our 24-hour testing kiosks.”

For more information about the location and availability of other free COVID-19 testing options through the Coastal Health District, visit  at