WATKINSVILLE, Ga. — Drive-thru testing for the coronavirus has begun in the Athens area.

Piedmont Healthcare has established a test collection site at the Piedmont Athens Regional Oconee Health Campus. That’s at 1305 Jennings Mill Road, Watkinsville.

Patients must be prescreened by calling 866-460-1119. A patient who meets the criteria for testing will be assigned an appointment.

The site will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only.

Piedmont says as testing becomes more readily available, it is offering tests to those who are self-isolating at home with moderate symptoms and who meet the screening guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Patients with mild symptoms should continue to self-isolate at home and monitor their condition.

Patients with severe or worsening symptoms should go to the emergency department.

In a statement, Atlanta-based Piedmont said its drive-thru testing limits patient exposure to the community and preserves resources in its hospitals and EDs.