Despite Surge, Florida To Rely On Local Governments To Open COVID-19 Testing Sites
The governor said local governments have “huge amounts of money from CARES Act” that can go toward opening the sites, adding that testing is also widely available at pharmacies, labs and doctor's offices.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state does not plan on reopening coronavirus testing sites despite a surge in cases.
These large state-supported sites at locations such as Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg shut down this spring as demand for testing waned. But things have changed as cases in the state reach record levels.
Speaking in Sarasota on Tuesday, DeSantis said he's leaving it to local governments to decide whether to reopen their own sites.
He said “they've got huge amounts of money from CARES Act” that can go toward opening the sites, adding that testing is also widely available at pharmacies, labs and doctor's offices.
The locations open on Sat., Aug. 7 and will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In a news release, Hillsborough County health officials said two sites are opening “out of an abundance of caution and to enhance community testing capabilities.”
“The number of positive cases in Hillsborough County has been increasing in recent weeks, and some residents are reporting wait times of up to three days to be tested,” according to the release.
The two temporary sites will administer 500 free tests on a first-come, first-served basis, and no appointment is necessary. All testing will be conducted indoors, and rapid tests will be administered, though PCR tests will be available upon request.
Face masks will be required, along with a photo ID. Those without insurance can still receive a test.
Sarasota County kept its site open at the former Sarasota Kennel Club throughout the summer. This site is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will test anyone regardless of symptoms.
Check with local health department for sites in your area.
Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7