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COVID-19 testing

medical professionals conduct drive-through testing outside a vehicle in a parking garage
Florida Department of Health Pinellas County / Facebook

With Tropical Storm Isaias expected to lash Florida this weekend, the Division of Emergency Management said state-supported testing sites for COVID-19 will temporarily close at 5 p.m. Thursday.

drive-thru coronavirus testing site
SUSAN GILES WANTUCK/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

The state Department of Health will take over operations of Hillsborough County's COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium, beginning next week.

The state will also help Baycare open a testing site at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Florida’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge, making it one of the new hotspots in the country. In testimony to Congress this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there’s been a disturbing surge in new COVID cases in Arizona, Texas and Florida.

South Florida remains the epicenter for the pandemic accounting for more than 50 percent of total cases statewide. '

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration wants to fast-track rules that expand the health-care services pharmacists are authorized to provide, a move that worries some members of a board that licenses physicians.

Twice now, on March 13 and again on April 27, President Trump gathered some of the country's top corporate executives — from test producers to lab processors to major retailers — to tout his plan to make COVID-19 testing widely available. His vision: Blanket the country in drive-through testing sites.

Woman speaks at podium with military members behind her
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

A Sarasota clinic that sold unapproved COVID-19 test kits will be giving more than $9,000 in refunds to consumers.

A release from the office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said PrecisionMed Pharmacy sent more than 1,000 text messages to people living in the Tampa Bay area, selling at-home test kits for $85 each.

Florida Health Care System: 35,000 Virus Tests 'Unreliable'

May 16, 2020
covid-19 testing supplies
iStock

The results of more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests ordered by Florida-based health care system and performed by a third-party lab are unreliable, with the majority of the questionable tests having been conducted in Florida, the company said Saturday.

After lifting a moratorium on elective surgeries in Florida, last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news briefing with surgeons at Lee Health’s Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, Monday, encouraging people who may fear seeking medical treatment to schedule their procedures. 

Health Care worker's hands holding COVID-19 testing kit.
Manatee County Government

Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sarasota Tuesday to discuss the state’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a new COVID-19 testing site at the University Town Center Mall, the governor said Florida is ramping up testing and loosening restrictions on who can get screened for the virus.

A male and female medical officials take a medical test sample from a person in a car at a drive-thru sitesample
Manatee County Government

Pinellas County is now offering COVID-19 testing without restrictions at three sites. The testing is free and is being offered for walk-ups and drive-through to at Community Health Centers in Pinellas Park, Clearwater and the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Center in St. Petersburg. 

A testing supply tent set up outside Raymond James Stadium
Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County has been notified it will receive $256 million from the federal government though the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The county also plans to open on Wednesday three more coronavirus testing sites: at Lee Davis Community Center, South Shore Community Center and Plant City Community Center.

Horse on a farm field
iStock

Some counties in Florida have reported no -- or very few -- cases of coronavirus, a reason Gov. Ron DeSantis cited Wednesday for waiting so long to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.

But Jerne Shapiro, an epidemiologist and lecturer at the University of Florida, says the lack of testing – particularly in rural areas – means low numbers may not reflect the real number of infections.

A smiling woman in a lab coat, with glasses sits at a desk with a cranium, and models of internal organs.
Courtesy: USF Health

About two weeks ago, Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, came to researcher Summer Decker with a question for her and her colleagues: could 3D printing help alleviate the shortage of nasal swabs used in COVID-19 testing kits?

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

With more than 900 new positive test results added since Saturday evening, Florida is rapidly approaching 5,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to figures released by the Florida Department of Health just after 6 p.m. Sunday, 4,950 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus. That’s up by 912 from the same time Saturday, and almost 1,800 since Friday evening.