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Hillsborough To Test All First Responders, Nursing Home Staff For COVID-19

Coronavirus Test Kit
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Hillsborough County will soon begin testing all first responders and medical staff at nursing home facilities for COVID-19.  

The county expects to receive 44,000 rapid test kits and will use them to test all employees who work on the front lines at fire, EMS and police agencies in Hillsborough and its municipalities. It will also test staff at assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

The tests will help the county determine if people who work in these areas have the virus. It will also help them know which workers have already been exposed to the virus and possibly developed antibodies to it, a release from the county said.

Information from the CDC suggests a large portion of the population may get COVID-19 without having symptoms.

“The information garnered from the test results impacts our efforts in the fight against community spread of COVID-19,” the release said. “Individuals who are determined to have developed the antibodies could be safely deployed to "hot spots" to administer life-saving treatment.”

Results from the tests, which involve a small finger prick, are returned within 10 minutes.

Once the county receives the tests, it will coordinate with municipalities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities to administer them to employees.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.
Julio Ochoa
Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.