Everyone -- symptomatic or not -- urged to get COVID-19 test at Sarasota drive-through site

As Florida slowly reopens, testing becomes even more important.

You don’t need a prescription or an appointment to get tested at the state-run drive-through testing site in Sarasota County, but the lines were still short Wednesday.

For those who did show up, they were in and out in minutes.

Officials are encouraging anyone who wants a test to come get one so we may all have a better idea of what's happening in the community.

“There’s little to no wait here at the Sarasota/Manatee County COVID-19 testing site and it’s been that way since Friday,” explained Jacob Saur, the director of public safety for Manatee County.

The site behind the mall at University Town Center has been open for the last 10 days. As of Tuesday, 5,788 people have been tested since it opened.

The state-run site can test up to 750 people each day. Yesterday only 643 people were tested.

“That opens up a more constant data flow, of positive versus negatives and where each county, Manatee and Sarasota where we need to focus our efforts on maybe the underserved or maybe where we have hot pockets of zip codes of positive cases. That gives us a better picture as more people go and get tested," Saur said.

In Manatee County, testing was desperately needed.

The county had been testing higher for positive cases than some areas of the state because of a lack of widespread testing. 

Numbers now show a seven-day downward trend for COVID-19, with only a 9.3% positive rate.

This is the seventh day in a row that numbers have been decreasing.

That's why testing like this is important.

The Sarasota County testing site is open every day starting at 9 in the morning and they wrap up at 5 p.m. or until they hit their capacity of 750 people.

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 covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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