TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — One glance at the FAMU Bragg Stadium COVID-19 testing site, and it looks like nothing has changed. But that's not the case. Tallahassee's largest COVID-19 testing site, along with every other state-operated site, is now under a new direction.
Site director Tanya Tatum said the site is no longer run by the Florida Department of Emergency Management.
"The Division of Emergency Management is looking forward to hurricane season so we're transitioning over and working directly with the Department of Health, so that's resulted in a few changes," said Tatum
The good news is the changes are minor.
Now FDOH and private healthcare vendor Nomi Health are taking over. Now if you want to register to get the test, you'll have to through the Nomi website.
There are also QR codes in the parking to make registration easier. Through Nomi, you only have to register once. It'll save your information for the next time you come in for a test.
The tests are also going back to nasal swabs. There's also a change to test providers.
Testing has slowly declined. Bragg is now giving anywhere from 600 to 1200 tests in a day. At its peak, the site did 4,000.
"We're still getting a number of positive tests. So we want to make sure that we have that ability for the community to come and get tested when they need to," said Tatum.
On a slow Memorial Day, 11-year-old Krsna Pothuru said testing is important to him.
"Basically I like to be tested because I want to know how I'm doing since I'm not vaccinated," he said.
Pothuru said until vaccines are available for his age group, he'll make sure to keep coming back.
"I think it's pretty important that you be tested so that you can know if you have COVID so that you can be prepared and get quarantined and contacting your doctor," said Pothuru.
Tatum said testing is still important for the community to move forward.
"So we have a better sense of what the rates are really amongst the community. We would like to test about 3 percent, so we're a little under that right now. So that could lead to a higher positivity rate. What we're seeing is a fairly large amount of people testing positive. We still have evidence of significant transmission in the Tallahassee-Leon County area," she added.
Tatum is also pushing for more vaccines in the community.
"Really hoping people take up the vaccine. If you're vaccinated, there's no need to test as often or frequently unless you've been exposed or unless you develop symptoms so that's certainly cutting down on the amount of testing we're doing, so we really want to see as many people get vaccinated as possible."
The goal is to keep the site open as long as possible.
Tatum said that also depends on how long it'll take to get the majority of the community vaccinated.
Bragg is testing the community Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.