ORANGE COUNTY – On Saturday afternoon, members of the Florida National Guard were seen in the parking lot of the Orange County Convention Center, continuing to monitor tents and cones that have already been set up for a community testing site.
It is one of three federally supported sites that will only be open to first responders, healthcare workers and people 65 and older who have symptoms of COVID-19.
The other two locations are currently in the Miami Dade and Jacksonville area, and the two locations combined have already tested over a thousand people.
“If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get tested,” said Vice President Mike Pence, head of the coronavirus task force set up in Washington DC “It’s another way for the people American to ensure that we preserve the resources our healthcare workers need to serve and support those struggling with the coronavirus.
Local health groups and doctors’ offices have set up their own private drive through testing sites in central Florida, including The Villages, Ocala and Leesburg. Governor Ron DeSantis said another community site will be opened in The Villages to test even more people.
The Coronavirus Task Force continues to urge people to continue practicing social distancing for a total of 15 days to help stop the spread of the contagious and deadly virus.
“We encourage every American to listen to these state and local authorities,” Pence said. “For every American, this is what you can do to make a difference over the coming week and days to protect your health and the health of your families, but most importantly to slow the spread and potential that the coronavirus is affecting. the most vulnerable. ”
According to a Florida Division of Management spokesperson, the Orange County community testing site is expected to have a total of 10 drive-thru lanes and 2,500 collection kits sent out to accommodate the hundreds of people that they plan to show up next week. DeSantis announced that it is expected to open on Wednesday.
DeSantis also announced that while community testing sites are part of the state’s first line of defense to stop the spread of COVID-19, they are considering a possible new isolation plan for those who test positive, who could use area hotels and convention centers as quarantine locations.
“I think the plan would be if you have someone who comes forward who doesn’t require hospitalization, you test them. You have them isolated in a convention center, a hotel. Do not go home with your family because the people you are most likely to infect are those very close lingering contacts.
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