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Big Bend sees continued demand for COVID-19 tests amid surge in cases

FAMU's Bragg site hits 100,000 tests
Posted at 5:25 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 17:25:23-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In just seven months, the Florida A&M University Bragg Memorial Stadium COVID-19 site has tested more than 100,000 people.

Monday marked the milestone, with 2,687 done in one day. In the latest surge of cases, the site is seeing about 2,000 people per day.

The site is the most continuous site in the Big Bend. For neighboring counties, it's also the closest place to go.

FAMU Director of Student Health Tanya Tatum told ABC 27 that they sometimes even see people living out of state.

"We have a lot of people from Georgia that live and work in Tallahassee and so they're able to come to this site," said Tatum.

To fit the growing need, Bragg is now expanding.

"We are already making changes," said Tatum, "we put requests in for additional staff and equipment. We have another tent set up, we're setting up another swab station."

Wait times for people at FAMU this week have been about an hour. To cut back on those wait times, they have opened up more testing pods.

Tatum said she anticipates a high volume throughout the rest of the year.

While Bragg sees the most people, there are other options in Leon County. Through the Leon CARES Act, Bond Community Health is meeting the need of the rest of the community, with mobile testing clinics in other parts of the county.

"We may stage it in an under-served community, but we take all comers," said Dr. Temple Robinson, "we'll see people getting off of work, any demographic, children, all races coming in and saying this is a convenient spot, you're right at us, let us go ahead and get tested right here."

Dr. Temple Robinson is the CEO of Bond Community Health Clinic. She said they can see as many as 200 people in a day.

The FAMU Bragg Memorial site is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The site will be closed for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. Testing is free and no physician referral or insurance is required. Although no appointment is necessary, pre-registration is recommended.

Bond will host its next pop-up clinic Monday at Brownsville Preparatory Institute.