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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Long Lines At Hillsborough County-Run Coronavirus Testing Sites

A woman is tested for the coronavirus at a walk-up testing site
Elaine Thompson
The county opened the sites, which do not require a reservation, in response to surging cases and high demand.

County officials anticipated testing about 500 people, but about 2,000 showed up at each of its testing sites.

With coronavirus cases spiking, people seeking tests overwhelmed Hillsborough County’s two new sites on Saturday and caused them to close early on Sunday.

County officials had anticipated administering 500 tests at each of the locations, but completed more than 2,000 on Saturday.

Click here to locate testing sites in your area throughout Florida.

The demand created long lines at the walk-in sites, and officials said they anticipated the lines would be long all week.

On Sunday, the county tweeted that both sites would close at 3 p.m. to make sure all tests could be completed by 5 p.m.

Those visiting the sites should bring water and prepare for a long wait. Face coverings are required.

The sites are in Tampa at Palm River Park Community Center, 725 S. 58th St. and Code Enforcement Complex, 1101 E. 139th Ave.

They are offering rapid tests, but PCR tests are available upon request.

The county opened the sites, which do not require a reservation, in response to surging cases and high demand. Tests are still being offered at several pharmacies around the state, but reservations are required and the ability to schedule a test on the same day is difficult.

The Health Department in Pinellas County will open a testing site on Monday to deal with additional demand. The Center for Health Equity, 2333 34th St. S. ,St. Petersburg, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until further notice. The tests are free and no appointment is necessary. For information, call (850) 583-2419.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.