coronavirus

Florida Working to Convert Some Covid Testing Sites to Vaccination Sites: Gov. DeSantis

State is also working to find places of worship in underserved communities where the vaccine can be administered, DeSantis said

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What to Know

  • Florida is working to convert some COVID-19 testing sites into vaccination sites, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday
  • The state is also working to find places of worship in underserved communities where the vaccine can be administered, DeSantis said
  • Florida is also deploying an additional 1,000 nurses to help with vaccination efforts

Florida could soon transition some state-run COVID-19 testing sites to vaccination sites and is working to find places of worship in underserved communities where the vaccine can be administered, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.

Speaking at a news conference at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital, DeSantis said the next two months will be "crunch time" when it comes to administering the vaccine.

"There's no time to waste," DeSantis said. "We don't believe it's time to rest."

DeSantis said the state is working to identify state-run testing sites that can be converted to vaccine administering sites, and is deploying an additional 1,000 nurses to help with vaccination efforts.

In addition, the state is working to find places of worship in underserved communities where the vaccine can be administered. DeSantis said more than 500 seniors have received the vaccine already at one house of worship in Escambia County.

As part of the state's effort to get better access to the vaccine, DeSantis said any facility run by the state will be open seven days a week, and he's asked hospitals to consider expanding their services to seven days a week.

DeSantis also said that hospitals that aren't doing a good job of administering the vaccines could see their allocations moved to hospitals that are doing a good job.

"We do not want vaccines to just be idle at some hospital systems," DeSantis said.

Vaccines will continue to be reserved for people age 65 and older, frontline health care workers, and staff and residents of longterm care facilities, DeSantis said.

"We really think it's important to put our seniors first," DeSantis said.

As of Sunday, more than 255,000 people in the state have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since vaccinations began in mid-December.

Florida added more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, along with nearly 100 more virus-related deaths. The state has reported record increases in cases over the holidays.

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