Several days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis affirmed the state's commitment to widespread coronavirus testing as a means to contain the outbreak, Florida's first walk-up testing sites opened at two locations in Broward County.
The walk-up sites in Broward are meant to expand testing accessibility for the region's undeserved communities and people who may not have a car, or who have been otherwise unable to visit one of the state's drive-thru testing centers.
"Not everybody is gonna have access to able to go to a drive in site, maybe it’s too far away from where you live," DeSantis said Friday.
The sites have been set up near county bus stops, one at Mitchell Moore Park in Pompano Beach and the other at the Urban League in Fort Lauderdale. Testing kicked off on Saturday.
"The process is simple: any individual experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter where you've travelled, you can walk up to the site to receive a test, or you can call ahead (954-412-7300) to set up an appointment," DeSantis said.
Appointments are encouraged, but not mandatory; the only criteria to get tested is you must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
The governor added that individuals would receive "a bag of resources" upon exiting the site, and those who test positive would be contacted by health officials and offered "tele-health" follow-up consulting.
Each site will kick off conducting 200 tests a day, DeSantis said, and if the model is successful it will be replicated in other areas in Florida such as Miami-Dade county.
At opening time Saturday morning, dozens of people were lined up ready to take advantage of the new location. Both sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
In Miami Beach, over 2,000 tests have been administered at the mobile testing center for drive-thru passengers, according to city officials.
The site, which originally opened on April 2nd, is located at a parking lot at 4621 Collins Avenue near the Eden Roc Hotel. It is open for any South Florida resident who has made an appointment at this website. Officials noted that same day appointments are often available.
Testing takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week except Saturdays, and officials said 250-300 tests are administered each day. At-home testing is also available for seniors in the City of Miami Beach who are unable to leave their homes.
A direct information line has also been set up to answer any questions people may have. It can be reached at 305-735-3909.