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Nonprofit FoundCare To Offer Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Site In Palm Beach County

A nurse administers a test at a drive through coronavirus testing station that was set up by the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

UPDATE: FoundCare announced Tuesday that it is no longer taking appointments for its COVID-19 drive-through testing site. The CEO Yolette Bonnet said in a statement that the nonprofit received Monday more than 6,000 calls for appointments.  FoundCare  says it is booked until April 10, and more testing appointments cannot be scheduled until it receives additional testing kits.

FoundCare, a nonprofit federally qualified health center, is setting up a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 in Palm Beach County, starting Monday, March 16 at 10 a.m.

“We were paying attention around the country as to what people are doing. We said, 'We could do that,' considering that we have trained staff to actually perform the tests,” said Yolette Bonnet, CEO of FoundCare. "I think this is the first time. I don't think anybody else has tried it in Palm Beach County."

Bonnet said testing will be open to Palm Beach County residents who have called ahead to complete a screening process according to CDC guidelines. They will then be given a scheduled appointment to show up at the drive-through, which is located at 2330 S. Congress Avenue at FoundCare's West Palm Beach site.

There will only 40 kits available in house for the first day of testing because of limited supplies, including protective equipment for staff and testing kits, Bonnet said.

“We don't have a bottomless supply” she said. "We are going to test it out. But we felt like we needed to do something because the calls keep coming in."

FoundCare, an outpatient facility, is one of hundreds of safety net community health centers that provide mainly primary care services – regardless of people’s ability to pay.

Andy Berman, president of the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, said the group has been contacting centers across the state to determine how they can respond to the spread of coronavirus, of which there are now 100 confirmed cases in the state.

“The integration of the drive-through is one opportunity that we are looking at to try to get testing done quicker,” he said. “A lot of our health care centers are prepared to accept patients who may think that they need to be tested.”

Berman said the association is working with the state to send more testing kits and protective equipment for health care workers to facilities like FoundCare. He added that the goal is to create testing sites at other community health centers around the state.

The governor recently directed the state to buy 2,500 testing kits that would be distributed to hospitals and other health care facilities.

If you want to be tested for the coronavirus at FoundCare, call 561-967-0365 for a screening. Drive-through services will run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting Monday, March 16. Hours could change depending on need and supplies. Testing is slated to be offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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Alexander Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Miami. He majored in English and was the the editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper from 2014-15. He was WLRN's digital intern during summer 2015. He subscribes to too many podcasts and can't get away from covering the arts in Miami.