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FAMU Bragg Stadium expands capacity at COVID-19 testing site

Posted at 12:06 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 12:06:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(WTXL) — Due to the public’s response, FAMU's Bragg Stadium is expanding the capacity at its walk-up COVID-19 testing site.

According to a news release, the Florida A&M University-Bond Community Health Center COVID-19 testing site will be expanded to be able to conduct 300 tests per day.

Organizers of the Bragg Memorial Stadium walk-up location were notified about the expansion by the Florida Division of Emergency Management Friday.

In addition, appointments will now be extended to 3 p.m. each day.

Officials say the increase is due to the high demand for testing in Tallahassee's southside community.

Currently, the site is reaching its maximum limit as early as 2 p.m. Testing is expected to be continued daily at least until May 8.

“We are excited and appreciative about this additional support to test more of our community members. It is indicative of the demand and need,” said Cynthia Harris, Ph.D., director of the FAMU Institute of Public Health and one of the organizers of the test site.

Since the site opened on April 25, 1,187 individuals have been tested, according to FAMU.

“The past seven days have shown that people want to get tested. They understand the seriousness of this pandemic and the toll it’s taking on the African American community,” said Dr. Temple Robinson, MD., CEO of Bond Community Health Center. “Staff and volunteers have met all the challenges we’ve faced in providing this important service.”

The FAMU location is one of Florida’s four walk-up testing sites – one in Duval and two in Broward.

The site accommodates walk-ups and appointments.

Individuals can make an appointment by calling the Leon County Health Department at 850-404-6399.

Going forward, appointments will be booked no later than 3 p.m. each day.

Those with appointments should arrive no more than 15 minutes early to avoid waiting and congregating.

Members of the Florida National Guard are involved in handling swabbing and specimens.

The site is for those who believe they have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.

Organizers say testing is free and no physician referral is required.

Test results should be returned in a minimum of 72 hours.

The Leon County Health Department will notify those whose test is positive, while Bond staff will call those whose test is negative.