What to Know About Getting a Covid Test in South Florida Ahead of Thanksgiving

NBC Universal, Inc.

Though health experts and local officials across the country have urged people to stay home and not expand their social circle for Thanksgiving, many still have plans to celebrate the holiday with family and friends.

On Sunday, 1,047,934 people were screened at U.S. airports, the highest number of passengers boarding flights in a single day since March 16, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The following day, Florida officials reported several records were broken at the Hard Rock Stadium coronavirus testing site. According to the state, a record number 3,568 tests were administered on Monday along with 1,831 cars.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that "gathering with people who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu," so if you do plan on possibly opening up your circle, make sure to practice social distancing, wear masks and wash your hands often.

In case you're still worried about exposure, getting tested can be helpful. Local officials in South Florida have warned that many coronavirus testing-sites, particularly the walk-up sites, will be closed in Broward and Miami-Dade counties on Thanksgiving, so it's better to go ahead of time.

Keep in mind that a negative test only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing, and you should still take steps to protect yourself afterwards.

Here are some other tips for getting a coronavirus test this week.

Go during non-peak hours to avoid lines

Monday morning saw the usual long lines of cars waiting for coronavirus tests at Hard Rock Stadium, but NBC 6 reporter Carlos Suarez spent the early afternoon at a testing site at Marlins Park that was completely empty. "There's not a single car here," Suarez reported.

The walk-through test site at the Miami Beach Convention Center has also gotten a good reputation for being extremely quick and efficient.

Check out our list of Covid testing sites in South Florida for more locations and details about hours of operation.

Know beforehand which test is best for you

Hard Rock Stadium, Marlins Park and the Miami Beach Convention Center all offer PCR tests, which are known to catch the infection early on, but results can take 1-3 days. Miami Beach will offer drive-thru testing on Thanksgiving day between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Additionally, the sites also offer antigen tests, known as 'rapid' tests because the results can take between 15 minutes and a few hours.

However, rapid tests are more likely to yield a false negative, which is problematic for potentially asymptomatic Covid patients who would have no way of knowing they caught the disease if their results were negative.

To be sure, it's safest to take both, which you can do at all three sites.

Contact Us