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Bond Community Health, FAMU test site meets increased demand

Posted at 7:55 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 19:05:30-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — More coronavirus tests are coming to Tallahassee's walk up site less than a week after it launched.

With a growing demand to be tested, Florida A&M University and Bond Community Health are adapting to fit the need.

This site will be able to do an extra 100 tests starting Monday.

With people traveling from as far as Georgia to get a test, organizers say this will help them reach even more people.

"Most days we've come very close to 200 tests per day, and we would finish that fairly early in the day," said Dr. Damon McMillan, with Bond Community Health.

Since April 25, about 1,200 people were tested.

"They often show their appreciation for this opportunity to get tested," McMillan said. "Other areas may have restriction, but this way to get tested freely has been well received in this area."

The site is only one of four statewide that allows people to walk up and get tested.

The clinic was established to give Tallahassee's southside access to testing, but others have taken advantage of the free walk up site.

"We are aware that some people have come from Gadsden County," said McMillan. "We've seen license tags from Georgia."

The lack of testing in smaller areas even came up during Gadsden County's emergency board of commissioners meeting Friday.

Nineteen percent of the tests done in the county have come back positive. Statewide, that number is only 8.6 percent.

"That's due to the fact that we have a higher risk population than other counties," said Gadsden County commissioner, Gene Morgan. "I think that would make sense for the numbers to be in that range. Also keep in mind, testing increases the negative and positive cases."

At the request of many in the county, more testing will soon be available.

"We have received the preliminary additional 1,500 test kits that was requested of the secretary," Morgan said. "They are currently at emergency management."

Gadsden County's test site will likely open next week.

Organizers of testing at Bragg Stadium announced Monday the site will continue in operation until at least through May 14.

It may be extended longer on a weekly basis, depending on the traffic, said Cynthia Harris, Ph.D., director of the FAMU Public Health Institute and one of the organizers.