Hillsborough County opening new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites

Health experts continue to stress there will likely be a surge in coronavirus infections following the Thanksgiving holiday, and with the cases on the rise, the demand for testing continues to grow. It's the main reason Hillsborough County is opening two new testing sites this week.

Testing at the Vance Vogel Sports Complex -- located at 13012 Bullfrog Creek in Riverview -- begins Monday and will be available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. As with other Hillsborough testing locations, you are asked to register ahead of time to be tested. 

On Wednesday, the William Own Pass Sports Complex, located at 1300 Sydney Dover Road in Dover -- will open for testing as well.

Both sites require an appointment, but they don't require a doctor's referral. Testing is free but those with insurance should bring their insurance cards.

RELATED: Tampa General Hospital opens special COVID-19 unit

County officials said they are opening the sites this week in response to the demand they've seen recently and the expectation that they'll continue to see a surge of people looking to get tested closer to Christmas. 

They say they hope the new sites will take some pressure off the Raymond James testing site and others that have been quite busy since the week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

READ: Healthcare workers brace for post-Thanksgiving COVID surge

Registration can be completed online by heading to Hillsborough County's website. Appointments can also be made by calling 888-513-6321 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hillsborough County also provided the following information to know before heading to one of the COVID-19 testing sites:

What to Bring:
Photo ID with name and date of birth for all persons being tested (can be Florida driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport)
Appointment confirmation code
Health insurance card

Prepare for your Arrival:
These two new sites are drive-thru.
Limit vehicle passengers to those needing a test.
Each person to be tested must be seated next to a working window.
Be prepared to provide your full name, current address, and best contact information.

What to Expect:
Directional signage and law enforcement will help drivers through the testing site in an orderly fashion.
You will be greeted by a health care provider in personal protective gear who will give you instructions.
A minimally invasive test will be administered.
Test results are not immediate. Most people will receive results within a few days. You will be given information on how to access your results and what to do while you await them.

People who are experiencing a medical emergency should dial 9-1-1 immediately.

Other Free COVID-19 Public Testing Sites in Hillsborough County:
Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa
Lee Davis Community Resource Center, 3402 N. 22nd St., Tampa
Suncoast Community Health Centers, 313 S. Lakewood Drive, Brandon

For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions and links to other testing options besides the public sites, click here