Advocates for Georgia's Elderly Since 1953


Georgia Health Care Association Statement in Response to the Prioritization of COVID-19 Testing for Long Term Care Residents and Staff

For Immediate Release 
April 14, 2020

Devon Barill, Director of Communications

Stockbridge, GA - Tony Marshall, President & CEO of the Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA), today issued the following statement in response to the efforts of Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to prioritize COVID-19 testing for long term care residents and staff.
“Governor Brian Kemp announced during his April 13 press briefing that, at the direction of DPH Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia will prioritize COVID-19 testing for the frail and elderly individuals residing in a long term health care setting and the dedicated caregivers who serve them, regardless of symptoms. The GHCA Board and membership would like to express our sincerest thanks to Governor Kemp and DPH for prioritizing the health and safety of those most vulnerable to the virus.
We certainly expect the number of confirmed cases in centers to increase with additional testing. However, expanding testing to all long term care residents and health care workers, even those who are asymptomatic, will allow providers to more fully implement infection prevention and control protocols. This action will help providers pinpoint who may have the virus and then take appropriate steps to prevent further spread within their centers. Further, priority testing for our health care workers is crucial to addressing workforce shortages. By expanding testing for staff members, Georgia is ensuring these caregivers who want and need to get out of isolation and back to work so they can serve their residents can do so more quickly.
We appreciate our ongoing partnership with the Governor's Office and State agencies to ensure providers have the guidance and resources they need to best keep their residents safe from COVID-19.”
About GHCA
The Georgia Health Care Association is a non-profit association of skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, and home and community based case managers called SOURCE. Advocates for Georgia's elderly since 1953, the Association represents the best interests of patients, residents and consumers as well as owners, administrators, and other personnel. GHCA strives to enhance the ability of its members to provide competent and compassionate care to meet the ever-changing health care needs of elderly Georgians. For more information, visit