MACON, Ga. — Starting this week, Navicent Health has partnered with Angel Flight Soars to send COVID-19 tests to both Tennessee and North Carolina.

Michael Hajworonsky with Navicent Health says they do not have in-house testing available, so the normal drive to two of their testing labs are four to six hours. He says by air, this only takes about two hours.

"Through our reference labs, we serve over 55 counties in central and south Georgia, and we received samples from community physicians, clinics in other hospitals across the state," he says.

That's where Angel Flight Soars comes in. It's an organization that usually flies patients to appointments and treatments by air, but now, they're flying tests.

"Our normal patient missions are down right now because a lot of hospitals are rescheduling all non-necessary appointments for patients so we are very excited to be able to help in some small way," says executive director Jeanine Chambers.

She says pilots use their own planes and there are close to 20 pilots on board, flying daily.

"This came together very quickly. They said, 'Absolutely, we're having these challenges, particularly on the weekends,' but we're doing it daily. So our pilots really just had hearts of gold and they want to serve any way they can," says Chambers.

The pilots for these flights are all volunteers and they're leaving from right here at the Lowe Aviation terminal at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

Navicent Health says tests are flown out seven days a week with two trips per day on the weekends.

To find out more about Angel Flight Soars, visit their website here.

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