Good News Clinics striving to maintain service, but call before you come

Pictures of Good News Clinics – photos by Scott Rogers

Even amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Good News Clinics strives to remain steady for its patients.

Liz Coates, executive director of the nonprofit, said Good News, which specifically serves those without health insurance, has been managing people’s chronic diseases for nearly 30 years.

The clinics operate through donations and with a roster of doctors who provide voluntary services.

“Right now, in this time of instability, the clinics are continuing to carry out that mission with faith, hope, and love to our patients,” Coates said. “We are keeping our over 3,500 patients well and out of the hospital for those who truly need emergency care or a bed in which to recover from illness or surgery.”

To protect patients with chronic conditions, Coates said the organization has asked those with a fever to call before coming in.

“Most of what we’re doing is screening people by the phone to remove the unnecessary visits,” she said.

Before people enter Good News in Gainesville, they’re met by staff who ask about their symptoms. All scheduled patients with a fever, sore throat or cough, will be ushered into a sick tent, which sits in the facility’s courtyard.

“For now, we don’t have access to testing,” Coates said. “Our big protocol is that we’re trying to make sure we have a separate area for the sick.”

If a patient meets the symptoms of COVID-19, Coates said Good News staff can make a referral through the Georgia Department of Public Health for testing.

To comply with social distancing, the nonprofit has implemented telemedicine to ensure routine visits and refills are made.


The Times
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