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Hillsborough County To Add More COVID-19 Testing At Raymond James Stadium

Hillsborough County has seen an increased demand for testing as the number of coronavirus cases rise, including at Raymond James Stadium.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The state Department of Health will take over operations of Hillsborough County's COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium, beginning next week.

The state will also help Baycare open a testing site at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Both counties have seen an increase in demand for testing as the number of coronavirus cases rise.

Liana Lopez, Hillsborough County's chief communication administrator said the state takeover will allow for more tests at Raymond James Stadium.

"We're adding an additional almost 4,000 appointments next week," she told the county's Emergency Policy Group Thursday. "Call, get scheduled, go to your appointment. If you can't make it, miss it. But we are going to track those no shows and see if we can begin to overbook some appointments."

Many county residents have complained about long waits and disconnections when they call to make an appointment. Lopez said Hillsborough is adding more call center agents, and residents can now schedule tests online.

Gov. Ron Desantis announced the testing site at Tropicana Field during a press conference in Tampa on Thursday. 

DeSantis said he spoke with the head of the Baycare Health System about providing swabs and other supplies at the site.

Earlier this week, Baycare closed a drive-thru test collection site at an office park in north St. Petersburg. Increased demand at the drive-thru site led to disruptions for neighboring businesses.

The governor did not provide details about when the St. Petersburg drive-thru site will open.

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Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by , the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.