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Demand for COVID-19 testing increases as positive cases climb in Leon County

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 18:17:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Rising numbers of positive coronavirus tests are causing more people to go out and get tested, but many in Tallahassee are finding access to testing isn't a breeze.

It takes just a couple of hours to reach the limit for testing at Bragg Stadium and the increase in demand is leaving many people calling for more testing in the Capital City.

"My 76-year-old employee had to go to Bragg and stand in line for four-and-a-half hours," said Karen Loewen. "His test came back last Saturday and was inconclusive."

Others say their stories mirror that situation and that they're struggling to secure one of the now coveted tests.

At Florida A&M's testing site, changes are underway to cut down on wait times.

"We recently implemented a web-based text system so that we don't have people standing in line so long," said Tanya Tatum, of FAMU Public Health. "It allows people to leave and return when they get that text message saying they can come and get tested."

With the system in place to cut down on waiting in line, just making it through the line is a challenge.

The Bragg test site can test up to 500 people a day, but that number is reached within hours.

"10:30, 11:00," Tatum said. "We're testing through the day but seeing an increasing number of people wanting to come in and get tested."

Community members are calling on the state to bring in more help.

"Let's call the state in and get some drive-thru cheek swab testing sites," said Loewen. "The rest of the state is doing it."

In Leon County, testing is available at FAMU, Patients First, select CVS stores, primary care doctors, and local hospitals.