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Drive-thru testing sites to test healthcare workers, first responders and those 65 and older exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

By Kent Donahue

March 22, 2020

Florida is taking all necessary precautions to keep Floridians safe and healthy. This includes ordering an additional 2,500 test kits to prepare for potential testing increase and supporting installing four drive-thru testing sites to test healthcare workers, first responders and those 65 and older exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

These drive-thru testing facilities reduce surge at health departments and help prevent unnecessary spread at healthcare facilities. Additionally, these sites provide access to testing for those at risk for developing severe symptoms.

There are three federal drive-thru testing sites opening. They will be located at the Orange County Convention Center, the TIAA Bank Field Stadium Lot J and the Hard Rock Stadium. At these sites, individuals will have their swab sample collected and the sample will be sent to nearby approved testing lab.

PATIENT FAQ:

What are the symptoms that would allow me to meet the criteria for testing?

This testing center will initially begin only testing high-risk individuals that meet the below criteria:

-Anyone 65 years old or older with an on-site temperature above 99.6 and respiratory symptoms.

-All first responders and heath care workers, regardless of symptom presence.

When are the testing centers open?

All drive-thru testing sites are expected to be fully operational by mid-week.

Why are you only testing this criteria?

Health care workers and first responders are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, 65+ individuals are at higher risk of developing serious illness as a result of contracting COVID-19. In order to efficiently utilize resources, such as testing kits and Personal Protective Equipment, providing high-risk individuals these resources is crucial to protecting our communities overall.

How long does the drive-thru take?

This is an innovative tool to address COVID-19. As these centers come online, we will have a greater understanding of how long these processes will take. Individuals should 

be prepared for long wait times, we anticipate this will take around 20 minutes per person. 

What does the drive-thru testing process entail? 

Patients will not be exiting the vehicle. As vehicles enter the center, individuals will be screened for symptoms and asked relevant questions. If patients are determined to fall within the testing criteria, they will then move on to individual registration. Following this, samples will be collected, and individuals will be informed on what to expect regarding testing process, who will contact them and timeframe. 

Will you test my spouse/other household members? 

If individuals in a vehicle meet the criteria, multiple people can be tested. 

Do I need insurance? 

No, all individuals who meet the criteria will be tested regardless of insurance status. However, individuals with insurance should bring their information. Please note, no co-pays will be required of individuals who bring their insurance. 

Does this test cost money? 

This is a free public and innovative resource available to high-risk groups. 

I am a tourist from outside the United States and I have symptoms of COVID-19. Can I get tested? 

Yes, all individuals who meet the criteria will be tested in order to protect the public health of Florida communities and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

What should I do while I wait for my results? 

Results will be processed by approved labs. We ask patients that are under investigation to self-isolate to prevent the risk of spreading illness to those around them. Please be patient as samples are tested and take the necessary precautions to monitor symptoms and self-isolate. 

How will I receive results? 

At discharge, you will be informed what to expect regarding contact and timeframe.