Demand is already high as Raymond James Stadium in Tampa opened this morning for drive-thru coronavirus testing.
Hillsborough County spokesman Jon-Paul Lavandeira said 97 appointments had already been set up for testing before the 8 a.m. scheduled opening, while several other without appointments sought to be tested.
Lavandeira said 900 test kits are on hand, and the site has the capacity to serve 200 people a day.
It will remain open as long as the testing supplies last.
"It's unprecedented definitely in my lifetime to see something like this,” Lavandeira said. “I would have never thought I'd see this. And to put it in comparison: What we have set up as a community, other communities have done, but under federal leadership. We have done this ourselves."
Lavandeira said about 100 people on staff are on hand between healthcare professionals, law enforcement and government officials. Hillsborough County is running this site with community health partners, including BayCare, Tampa General Hospital and and Advent Health.
It will be open today through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m or while supplies last.
To register, call the Hillsborough County Customer Service Center at (813) 272-5900 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The county offers the following guidance:
What to Bring:
- You must arrive in a personal vehicle. Walk-ups are not permitted at this time.
- Each person to be tested must be seated next to a working window.
- Limit vehicle passengers to those needing a test.
- Have a photo ID for all persons being tested with name, date of birth and photo (can be Florida driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport).
- Bring a printed copy of the testing confirmation email from the Hillsborough County Customer Service Center. Having this form with you will expedite the process. (Residents who are unable to print their confirmation number can provide a screen shot on their phone.
What to Expect:
- You will be greeted by a health care provider in personal protective gear who will give you instructions.
- You will be given a tissue to blow your nose. You will need to keep the tissue to dispose on your own.
- A soft swab will be inserted deep into your nose to get the necessary sample. This may be slightly uncomfortable, but the test is quick and should take less than a minute.
- It may take several days to receive test results. After the test, you will be given information on what to do while you await the results.
- You will receive test results via the telephone number you gave at the time of pre-screening.
WUSF staff writers Carl Lisciandrello and Julio Ochoa contributed to this report.
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