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Long Lines At Hillsborough County-Run Coronavirus Testing Sites As Demand Spikes

A woman is tested for the coronavirus at a walk-up testing site Friday in Seattle. Testing availability and reliability continue to be problems in the U.S. fight against the virus.
A woman is tested for the coronavirus at a walk-up testing site Friday in Seattle. Testing availability and reliability continue to be problems in the U.S. fight against the virus.

County officials anticipated testing about 500 people but instead about 2,000 showed up at each of it's two testing sites.

With coronavirus cases spiking, people seeking tests overwhelmed Hillsborough County’s two new sites on Saturday and caused them to close early on Sunday.

County officials had anticipated administering 500 tests at each of the locations, but instead completed more than 2,000 on Saturday.

The high demand created long lines at the walk-in sites and officials said they anticipated that the lines would be long all week.

On Sunday, the county tweeted that both sites would close at 3 p.m. to make sure all tests could be completed by 5 p.m.

Those visiting the sites should bring water and prepare for a long wait. Face coverings are required.

The sites are located in Tampa at Palm River Park Community Center, 725 S. 58th St. and Code Enforcement Complex, 1101 E. 139th Ave.

They are offering rapid tests but PCR tests are available upon request.

The county opened the sites, which do not require a reservation, in response to surging cases and high demand. Tests are still being offered at several pharmacies in the area, but reservations are required and the ability to schedule a test on the same day is difficult.

The Health Department in Pinellas County will open a testing site on Monday to deal with additional demand.

The site at the Center for Health Equity, 2333 34th St. S. St. Petersburg, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday until further notice. The tests are free and no appointment is necessary. For more information, call (850) 583-2419.

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