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Updated March 2023

Face Masks are Now Optional at All AAPHC Locations

March 20, 2023 - Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) announced that effective Monday, March 20, face masks will now be optional in their medical offices. “After assessing the data, and with what we’re learning from the federal government, we feel confident in this decision,” says Lisa Rathel, Director of Nursing for AAPHC.

This announcement comes as the organization marks the third year anniversary of when COVID first impacted our community. “Masking up has been challenging for the past three years, but our organization can be proud knowing we did everything possible to minimize the risk of infection within our offices,” says Lisa. “Wearing the masks was always about protecting one another and our patients, especially those most vulnerable to the virus.”

“Over the last two years, the largest adult vaccination program in U.S. history was implemented with nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine,” says Dr. Edward Vance, Chief Medical Officer for AAPHC. “As a result of mass vaccination and the many other efforts to stop the COVID spread, America has seen substantial improvement in COVID health metrics since the peak of the Omicron surge at the end of January 2022 including daily COVID reported cases are down 92% and COVID deaths have declined by over 80%.”

“After considering all of these points, plus that the Department of Health and Human Services has announced they will end the Emergency Phase of the COVID Pandemic on May 11, we feel we are in a fairly positive position for handling COVID illness and can move forward with masking as option – rather than mandatory – for our patients,” says Dr. Vance.

AAPHC would also like to stress that anyone who would like to continue to wear a mask is able to do so. “We understand that some of our providers, staff and patients just feel more comfortable wearing a mask in a medical office. If someone would like to wear one – especially to protect from germs – we completely understand and welcome it,” says Lisa.

Patients of AAPHC can look for more information to be released from the group in the coming days. Providers and Employees of AAPHC were already notified of the change earlier this week. “I think everyone is ready to see their co-workers and our patients' smiling faces again,” says Lisa.





Face Masks Are Still Required at All AAPHC Medical Offices

With the uptick in COVID cases in Southwest Georgia this January 2023, plus with the historic flu levels across the nation, AAPHC will continue to require face masks in all of our medical offices.   This helps us protect our patients - especially those who are elderly or immunocompromised - as well as protect our providers and staff.  We thank you for your patience!   We look forward to the day that we can be mask free again - hopefully soon. 


New Bivalent COVID Booster Now Available

The Bivalent COVID Booster is now available at our AAPHC offices.  Please contact your AAPHC provider to see if you qualify or to schedule.  COVID booster shots are critical to protecting your health against severe COVID symptoms.  These booster shots also lower your chances of hospitalization! 


Family Vaccination Event Set for Saturday, Jan. 29


Are You Eligible for the COVID Boosters?

  • Are you 18 years and older?
  • Are you two months past a Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine?
  • Or, are you at least six months past your Moderna or Pfizer vaccine?

If yes, you qualify for your COVID Booster!  Please schedule your appointment today! 


COVID Boosters Now Available at AAPHC

Now eligible for your COVID Booster?  Please call any of our primary care offices to be scheduled for your COVID Booster appointment.  Our Schedulers will be happy to assist you and get you scheduled for your COVID Booster! 


  How to Schedule Your COVID Vaccine at AAPHC


COVID Rapid Testing Available at AAPHC

We have received calls from our community members asking if AAPHC provides COVID Rapid Testing.  Yes, AAPHC does offer COVID Rapid Testing but for symptomatic individuals only.   Symptoms of COVID include fever, cough, shortness of breath, congestion, and runny nose.  If you are asymptomatic, which means you are experiencing no symptoms of COVID, please utilize DPH's Drive-Thru Testing Site HERE.   We hope this helps clear up any confusion!


 Upcoming FREE Vaccination Event at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church


Upcoming FREE Vaccination Event at Church of Christ at Gaines Avenue:

How to Schedule Your Vaccine at AAPHC


COVID Drive-Thru Testing Site Available in Albany, Georgia

COVID Testing is available at our AAPHC offices, however, due to the recent surge in COVID cases the demand for testing is extremely high.  If you are asymptomatic, or need testing outside our regular office hours, we strongly recommend that our patients and community members utilize the new Drive-Thru COVID Testing Site in Albany, Georgia.   With this new Drive-Thru Site, you can remain in the safety of your own car, while having shorter wait times, extended hours for testing, and faster result times.   

The Drive-Thru Testing Site is located at 804 13th Ave on the Phoebe North Campus in Albany. Your test results should be returned in 24-48 hours after the screening.  You can also cut down your wait time by pre-registering. However, pre-registering isn’t necessary. 

If you would like to pre-register for the Drive-Thru Testing Site, please CLICK HERE.   Additional details are included in the flier below.







Mt. Zion Vaccination Event Set for Sunday, August 29




Thank You For Your Patience


Vaccine Appointments Available at AAPHC




AAPHC to Sponsor Pop-Up Vaccination Event with Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Conference of National Black Churches & Phoebe

You are invited to join us at the upcoming Pop-Up Vaccination Event on Sunday, August 8 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia!  To pre-register for a vaccine appointment for the event, please CLICK HERE.   Vaccine appointments are available for those 12 years of age or older.      







Vaccinations Available at AAPHC

You can now schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointments at our primary care offices located across Southwest Georgia. (If you are on a smart phone, please rotate your device to see additional locations & contact information.)

Albany, Georgia:  

NW Albany: 229-405-6196  

East Albany: 229-639-3100 

South Albany:229-431-3120 

Leesburg, Georgia: 229-759-6508

Edison, Georgia: 229-835-2238

Vienna, Georgia: 229-268-8865








AAPHC Hits Internal Vaccination Goal for Our Provider & Staff





Vaccination Event for Ages 12 and Up at Monroe High School





AAPHC Partners with Phoebe to Vaccinate Teens





Masks Still Required at AAPHC Offices Across Southwest Georgia


 AAPHC Closes Mass Vaccination Center & Vaccines Now Available at AAPHC Offices


How to Schedule Your Vaccine Appointment at AAPHC

Albany Area Primary Health Care is now scheduling COVID-19 vaccines for our patients and community members across Southwest Georgia. AAPHC currently offers the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to all residents who are 18 years of age and older. You do not need to be a patient of AAPHC to receive your vaccine at our organization. Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccine is free to all community members!

Here's how you can schedule your appointment:

  • For Albany, Georgia and surrounding counties, please call 229-338-7589.
  • For Vienna, Georgia and surrounding counties, please call 229-268-8865.
  • For Edison, Georgia and surrounding counties, please call 229-835-2238.

Please note: On April 23, the CDC and FDA notified health care organizations across the United States that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be safely resumed for patients. For questions or concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please reach out to your Primary Care Physician. 


AAPHC Pauses Administering the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

With the recent announcement from the CDC and FDA, Albany Area Primary Health Care will pause administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice. As more information becomes available from the FDA, we’ll share this with our community members on our Web Site and on our social media channels. 

Are you scheduled for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at AAPHC? Our Schedulers will contact you shortly and you will have the option of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine instead. 

We thank you for your patience and understanding!


Now Scheduling All Georgians 18 Years of Age & Older 

For the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, AAPHC is now scheduling all Georgians age 18 and older for vaccine appointments.

To schedule your vaccine appointment with AAPHC, please call 229-338-7589 or CLICK HERE to request an appointment online.   Our Schedulers are standing by to assist you! 


Answering Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

Do you have questions about the new COVID-19 vaccines?  Dr. Edward Vance, our Chief Medical Officer, and Shelley Spires, our Chief Executive Officer, created a short video to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions about the vaccines from our community members.    To watch the video, please CLICK HERE.


AAPHC Now Scheduling Newly Eligible Georgians for the COVID-19 Vaccine 

On Wednesday, March 10, Governor Brian Kemp announced that Georgia was expanded access to the vaccine to even more Georgians. Effective immediately, Albany Area Primary Health Care is now scheduling the following community members for the COVID-19 vaccine:
  • Community members 55 and older,
  • Georgians with high risk health conditions,
  • Primary caregivers of those 65 and older,
  • K-12 educators and school workers,
  • Adults with development disabilities,
  • Parents of children with complex health issues,
  • Health care workers & first responders.
Patients can schedule vaccine appointments at 229-338-7589 and our Schedulers will be happy to assist you.  Or, you can CLICK HERE to request an appointment and our AAPHC Schedulers will be in touch.


AAPHC Ready for Georgia's Vaccine Expansion on March 8 and New Groups Eligible 

On March 8, the following community members are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine: 

  • K-12 educators and school workers,
  • Adults with development disabilities,
  • Parents of children with complex health issues.  

Eligible for the vaccine?  Albany Area Primary Health Care can get your scheduled for an appointment!  Call 229-338-7589 to request an appointment.  


AAPHC Hosts Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Event on March 20 in Albany, Georgia

If you are eligible for the Vaccine, please schedule an appointment by calling 229-338-7589 or click here to request an appointment.  Our team of Schedulers will be happy to assist you! 



Scheduling Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment  

We're currently experiencing a large number of calls to our COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline.  In order to best serve you, and reduce your wait times, please click here to request a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment.

Once you complete the online form, one of our AAPHC team members will be in touch with you shortly to confirm your appointment and answer any questions.   Thank you for your patience!    


AAPHC Hosts Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Event on Feb. 20 in Albany, Georgia

AAPHC will host a Mass COVID-19 Vaccination event on Feb. 20 in Albany, Georgia.  This event is open to all eligible community members within Phase1A+ in the state of Georgia.  We've included more details in our flyer below.  To schedule an appointment for our Feb. 20 event, please call 229-338-7589 or CLICK HERE to request an appointment online. 


AAPHC Launches New COVID-19 Vaccination Center

On Thursday, Jan 21, Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) opened our brand new AAPHC COVID-19 Vaccination Center in East Albany.   This large space ensures we can vaccinate upwards of 500 community members every day.  The state of Georgia is currently in Phase 1A, which includes vaccinating health care workers, first responders and those 65 and older.
“We are so appreciative of Phoebe Putney Health System for giving us this space in their Phoebe East building,” says Shelley Spires, CEO.  “Whenever we can partner together, as a medical community, we can better serve our residents of Southwest Georgia.”
If you are a first responder or 65 and older, you can schedule your COVID-19 Vaccine appointment now via our COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 229-338-7589.  
AAPHC is one of only THREE organizations in Southwest Georgia who have the COVID-19 vaccine available.  “AAPHC, along with Phoebe and the Department of Public Health, are proud to work together to ensure we’re vaccinating as many of our community members as possible,” says Shelley. 
For full details on the COVID-19 Vaccine, or our COVID-19 Protocols, please visit

All COVID-19 Vaccinations Will Move to New Vaccination Center Site

Do you have an upcoming appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination? 
Effective Thursday, Jan. 21, AAPHC will now give all COVID-19 vaccinations at the new AAPHC COVID-19 Vaccination Center in East Albany.  Our Northwest Albany and South Albany locations officially transition back into medical offices for patient care. 
AAPHC COVID-19 Vaccination Center
2410 Sylvester Road
Albany, Georgia 31705
“We made this change to better serve our patients and our community members,” says Shelley. “As we launched vaccinations last week, we immediately recognized that we needed a much larger space to serve more residents each day and our medical offices just aren’t large enough to accommodate up to 500 community members a day.”
“We have waited so long for a way to fight back and stop this virus,” says Dr. Edward Vance, Chief Medical Officer, AAPHC.  “These vaccines are the way to help us stop transmission of the virus and return to our 'Pre-COVID' lives. We can see our families, visit with friends, and just get back to living our lives.   We can only do that, get back to our normal lives, if all Americans get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Please schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment with AAPHC today. We can do this – battle back against COVID – if we all get vaccinated as soon as possible.”


COVID-19 Vaccines & Your FAQs:

With news of the COVID-19 vaccines arriving in the community, we are receiving questions about the vaccine availability at Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC).  Here are some important details for our community members:

Q. What vaccine will the AAPHC offices receive?
A. Our AAPHC offices will receive the Moderna vaccine.

Q. Will the Moderna vaccine protect me from the virus?
A. Moderna’s vaccine proved 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 during clinical trials, some of which were conducted at Emory University.

Q. When will the Moderna vaccine arrive at AAPHC?
A. At this time, we have not been alerted as to when the first doses will arrive at AAPHC.  We are just waiting on news of our shipment.

Q. Who will be vaccinated first?
A. This shipment of Moderna vaccines will be available for our frontline health care workers in the state of Georgia.   

Q. When is the vaccine available for the community?
A. At this time, the CDC estimates that vaccinations of community members will begin in Spring 2021. Once vaccines become available to our community, we'll communicate that with you.

Q. Where can I find more information?
A. Please stay tuned to our social media channels, plus our web site at, for all the latest details.


COVID-19 Rapid Tests Now Available at AAPHC

COVID-19 Rapid Testing is now available at all Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) offices across Southwest Georgia!  In order to qualify for the COVID-19 Rapid Test, you must have one or more of the symptoms of Coronavirus - fever, loss of taste or smell, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches or stomach issues.

How to Schedule the COVID-19 Rapid Test:

  • For current patients, please call your AAPHC Provider's office to schedule your COVID-19 Rapid Test.

  • For new patients, please visit to find a listing of our offices and our Providers. Next, call your selected AAPHC Provider's office to schedule your COVID-19 Rapid Test.


Patient Safety Remains Our No. 1 Priority

Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) is taking all of the proper precautions to ensure our patients feel safe and comfortable during their appointments.

We are:

  • Sanitizing and cleaning exam rooms and patient areas before your appointments.
  • Following all Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to safely care for our patients.
  • Performing temperature checks on all staff and patients as they arrive at the offices.
  • Requiring all staff and patients to wear masks at all times within the offices to further reduce the risk of exposure to germs.
  • Additionally, our Dental Offices are following strict American Dental Association (ADA) and CDC guidelines while caring for our dental patients.
AAPHC remains here to care for our patients all across Southwest Georgia. You can trust that your health and safety remains our No. 1 priority.  
To learn more, please CLICK HERE to watch a short video on our safety precautions. 

Patients Must Now Wear A Mask For Their Appointments  

Patients arriving for appointments at their Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) doctor's office will be required to have a mask on before entering the building. If you do not have a mask, one will be given to you to wear at all times while inside the office. Masks should be worn appropriately so that it fully covers your mouth and nose. This new COVID-19 protocol is now in effect across all AAPHC offices in order to fully protect our providers, staff and patients.

For an easy, no sew mask tutorial, please CLICK HERE.

The #MASKUPALBANY campaign is also distributing FREE masks to community members. Visit Dougherty County Georgia Government for full details and distribution locations. 

Wear a mask and ensure you are protecting your family, friends and neighbors from COVID-19!


COVID-19 Antibody Testing Now Available 

AAPHC now offers COVID-19 Antibody Testing at all of our primary care offices across Southwest Georgia. This new COVID-19 Antibody Test is available to both new and established patients. Results are often back within three to seven days.
  • For current AAPHC patients, please contact your Provider's office to schedule your appointment for Antibody Testing. You can find your Provider's office information at
  • For community members new to AAPHC, please call our Northwest Albany location at 229-405-6196 to schedule an appointment. Or click on the following link to find an office near you:
Please note that the COVID-19 Antibody Testing is for patients that are 18 years or older. Pediatric patients do not qualify for the Antibody Testing. Additionally, please note that the COVID-19 Antibody Test will only confirm exposure and will not confirm immunity in a patient.  For additional questions or concerns, please contact our AAPHC team and we will be happy to provide answers on the COVID-19 Antibody Testing.

AAPHC Launches Telemedicine Visits for Patients  

Need to see a provider but want to skip a trip to the doctor's office? Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC) is proud to now offer Telemedicine Visits with our AAPHC providers. Just call an AAPHC office and ask to schedule a Telemedicine or "Virtual Visit" with a health care provider! Telemedicine appointments allow you to "see" your provider right from your smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer.

The best part? You can see a Doctor or Advanced Provider from the comfort of your own home. (Even right from your couch!) To find an AAPHC office, please visit our web site here:  Ask about our Telemedicine appointments today!

Critical Updates for Our Patients and Community Members:

  •  If you have symptoms of a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please contact your Provider's office immediately.
  •  If you have these symptoms and have a Dental, OB/GYN, Podiatry, Vision Care or Behavioral Health appointment, please cancel this appointment and go immediately to your PCP office. 
  •  If you call your PCP office with these symptoms, you may be routed to our Northwest Family Medical and Dental office for an appointment.
  •  Effective immediately, we have staff members taking each patient's temperature as they arrive at the office.


AAPHC Launches "No Visitor" Policy To Reduce Risk of Exposure

  • Effective March 19, we are launching a "No Visitors" policy within our offices to reduce risk of possible exposure to our staff and patients in the office. If you have a guest, they will have to remain in their car. There are some exceptions to this policy, including if the patient is under 18, needs assistance during the appointment, cannot be left alone or needs assistance communicating. Please speak with the staff at the office if you have questions. 
  • We are also at this time suspending visits from all pharmaceutical representatives until further notice.  There are no exceptions to this COVID-19 policy. 
The providers and staff at Albany Area Primary Health Care are working diligently to continue to care for patients during this unprecedented health emergency.  We appreciate you following all new COVID-19 protocols to better support our providers and care teams.   

What To Know Before Your Next Appointment:

For All Upcoming Primary Care Appointments:

  •  If you have the following symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Cough
  • Or, if you have recently:
    • Been exposed to a known Coronavirus patient
    • Traveled recently, including within the United States

Please notify our team while scheduling the appointment and upon check-in at the office.

For all Upcoming Dental, Podiatry, OB/GYN, Pediatrics and Behavioral Health Appointments:

  • If you have the following symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Cough
  • Or, if you have recently:
    • Been exposed to a known Coronavirus patient
    • Traveled recently, including within the United States 

 Please do not proceed with your appointment.  Immediately contact your Primary Care Provider and notify the check-in team of your symptoms.


For All Additional Questions:

Please contact your doctor's office and our team will be able to assist you!