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State of Florida prioritizes symptomatic, vulnerable and pediatric populations at State-Supported COVID-19 test sites

Posted at 9:24 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 21:25:01-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Monday, the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced that state-supported drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites will prioritize testing for symptomatic individuals, individuals 65 and older, and children under the age of 18 starting Wednesday, August 5.

This adjustment is consistent with CDC guidance that was issued on July 17, which no longer recommends a test-based strategy to determine when an asymptomatic individual is no longer infectious.

While asymptomatic lanes will still be available, testing sites are working to expedite results and make testing more accessible to populations that need it most.

Two state-supported drive-thru testing sites in Miami-Dade County, Hard Rock Stadium and Marlins Park, will begin offering rapid COVID-19 testing to symptomatic individuals and those over the age of 65. Results from these tests will be available within 15 minutes through rapid testing machines on site.

All other state-supported drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will expand lanes for symptomatic individuals, and individuals 65 and older. The priority lanes will offer self-swab tests, under the supervision of health care personnel, with results available within 72 hours.

In addition to expanding priority lanes at all state-supported testing sites, all state-supported drive-thru testing sites will begin offering COVID-19 antibody testing to assist with asymptomatic testing.

Antibody testing will also be available at four walk-up COVID-19 testing sites: West Perrine Health Center in Miami-Dade County, Miramar Youth Enrichment Center in Broward County, Lincoln Park in Manatee County and FAMU Bragg Memorial Stadium in Leon County.

This testing initiative will provide expedited results for symptomatic and vulnerable populations, enable faster data reporting, make contact tracing more effective, and enable a greater understanding of the transmission of the virus in the general population.

This testing initiative is in accordance with Governor DeSantis’ initiative, One Goal One Florida, which emphasizes the following simple, yet effective steps to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Protecting the vulnerable, including the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions;
  • Practicing proper hygiene, including washing your hands;
  • Practicing social distancing, avoiding closed spaces and crowded places; and
  • Wearing a mask, if you are in close contact with others.

A list of all state-supported testing sites can be found by clicking here.