SARASOTA, Fla. - Health officials in Sarasota County teamed up with Sarasota Memorial Hospital to launch a drive-thru collection site for COVID-19. However, it is by appointment only.
The site at Twin Lakes Park -- located at 6700 Clark Road -- opened to a foggy Friday morning. It is only for symptomatic people who meet the current CDC testing guidance. Each person must be referred by a doctor to best tested. The physician's office will contact the Department of Health in Sarasota County, and someone from the department will contact the resident with an appointment day and time.
The site will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning Friday. Officials are asking people not to show up without an appointment.
County residents who need to make an appointment and believe they have coronavirus are asked to call the county hotline center before visiting a hospital emergency room or healthcare provider. The phone number is 941-861-2883.
If you have an upcoming appointment at the collection site, here are some reminders from the county:
• Individuals being tested must be in a vehicle. No walk-ups.
• Remain in their vehicle at all times.
• Present a photo ID and prescription for specimen collection, written by their health care provider. (Name on ID and prescription must match.)
In Sarasota, the city expanded its publish health emergency declaration, banning gatherings of 10 or more people. It will last through April 3. Those who don't comply could get a citation.
There's no order to stay at home, but officials are strongly urging it, unless you have to leave your home for essential tasks, like going to the grocery store or exercise.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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