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Questions arise over testing needs as local coronavirus cases increase

A sign reading "Mahan COVID Testing Station Closed For Today" is in the back of a convertible marking the end of the line for the coronavirus testing site.
Regan McCarthy
WFSU Public Media
Signs like this marked the ends of long lines at coronavirus testing sites last year. Now those long wait times seem to be coming back again.

As coronavirus cases increase so do wait times at testing sites. That's prompting some government leaders to open new testing locations and others to question how much testing is really needed.

Demand for COVID-19 tests is growing as coronavirus cases once again climb. Some Floridians reported waiting in hours-long lines Monday to get tested. While some are calling for the state to open more testing sites, Governor Ron DeSantis says he’s working with the state surgeon general Joseph Ladapo to put out new guidance he hopes will reduce the pressure on current testing sites.

“You want to test to get a clinical outcome and that has got to be readily available for our vulnerable populations who are infected," DeSantis said. "But I think what you’re seeing is there are people who will go to the drug store and buy all these tests and test without symptoms. And that is going to contribute to the crunch that you’re seeing."

Ladapo thinks it’s time for people to stop making decisions based on the latest coronavirus news or pending their next COVID test results.

“It’s really time for people to be living, to make the decisions they want regarding vaccination, to enjoy the fact that many people have natural immunity and to unwind this thought that only COVID is determining the boundaries and constraints and possibilities of life,” Ladapo said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone with COVID-19 symptoms get tested and anyone who has recently come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should get tested as well. The CDC also suggests using a self-test before participating in indoor activities with people outside your household.

A chart made by the CDC lists reasons to get tested, types of viral tests and actions to take after you get your test results.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In response to the growing demand for testing, Leon County is hosting “pop-up” testing sites this upcoming weekend on the 9th and 10th. Testing sites around the community and at CVS pharmacies remain open.

More information about testing sites in Leon County is available on the county's interactive site finder map.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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