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Sarasota County Drive-Thru Covid-19 Testing Site Is Open For Patients With An Appointment

Mar 27, 2020

Sarasota County has opened a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site but like others locations across the region, resources are very limited.

Sarasota County currently has supplies to support its drive-thru operation through Tuesday at a rate of 50 people a day.

And visitors to the Sarasota testing site must have an appointment and be referred by a doctor to be tested.

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The short supply and quick time frame isn't unusual. Steve Huard, a spokesperson for the Sarasota County Department of Health, said because of unprecedented demand for medical supplies, these pop-up testing sites are simply restricted to supply and demand.

Huard also said officials are mindful of Sarasota’s senior population.

“While the older population in our community is at greater risks should they become infected they also have a great risk of negative outcomes,” he said. “This is one reason that we’re asking visitors to our COVID-19 testing site to be referred by a doctor. This allows us to more strategically use our supplies to test the most vulnerable in our community.”

This week, Manatee County announced its drive-thru testing site was limited to 200 people. All drive-thru appointments have been filled and operators are now referring callers who had hoped to make an appointment for the Manatee drive-thru to MCR Health and urgent cares for specimen collection.

Hillsborough County had 900 test kits for its operation at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa but they, too, have already stopped taking appointments because they've all been filled.

On Friday, Hillsborough County health officials said the department received an additional 1,000 testing kits from the state of Florida and are still working to secure the needed personal protective equipment required for medical teams working at the site.

The date of the reopening has yet to be determined.

RELATED: Map: Coronavirus Cases In Florida

Each of Florida's 67 counties orders their supplies with the state which then determines where to send resources.

According to the Florida Department of Health, as of 12 p.m. Friday there are 40 cases of coronavirus in Sarasota County. Two people have died.   

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