TAMPA, Fla. - More testing is on the way for people who need it in the Tampa area, and the state is working to get more rapid testing kits to communities.
Hillsborough County has 1,500 more test kits for three days of drive-thru testing at Raymond James Stadium beginning Wednesday at 8 a.m. Anyone who thinks they need a test will still have to call 813-272-5900 for pre-screening. Because test supplies are so low, people must show up on time for appointments or they won’t be tested.
Many people have to wait days for results, but Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, is working to get more rapid testing kits that show results in 15 minutes or less.
“I understand how frustrating it can be to get a test. [It gets] sent off to a lab, and it’s waiting in line with 20,000 other samples,” he said. “It takes time for that to go through to be able to get a quick result, [and this] is more efficient for our purposes and better for people’s stand of mind.”
Abbott Labs is one private company mass-producing rapid test kits with federal approval.
“They are planning to scale up the number of tests that can be put out through the next month, and patients can get the answer within as little as 15 to 5 minutes,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn during a White House COVID-19 update Monday afternoon.
In Hillsborough County, people can call to get screened for an appointment starting Tuesday through April 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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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