Hillsborough County opens 4th COVID-19 testing site at Adventure Island
TAMPA, Fla. - Hillsborough County opened a new COVID-19 testing site Monday at Adventure Island, near Busch Gardens, the fourth county-run site to launch during the latest omicron wave.
"They're still pretty good numbers that we're seeing day to day at these sites, at the other three sites that we have the ranging anywhere from in the 600's to in the 16-hundreds," said Katja Miller, Human Services and Mass Care Emergency Management program coordinator with Hillsborough County.
Miller told FOX 13 wait times at the county's sites have reached between 40 and 60 minutes at most and continues to trend downward.
While the opening of a new testing site is a sign that the omicron variant isn't gone, there are also signs that situation is improving, according to USF Health Dr. Thomas Unnasch, who tracks the impact of COVID in Florida.
"Every 12 days we're seeing half as many cases as we were the previous 12 days, which is really, really good," Unnasch said. "I think at least we're going to have a respite of six months to a year before we may see something come back around again. And I believe, if we do see something come back around again, the chances that it's going to be really less virulent than what we've seen before and cause less disease, it will be much milder than it was before."
Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, continues to face off with the federal government over monoclonal antibody treatments. The governor has been pushing the Biden Administration to ship more monoclonal treatments to Florida.
The Food and Drug Administration, however, is reportedly considering limiting the use of these treatments; experts largely agree the ones available in most states, including Florida, are not effective against Omicron, which account for about 99 percent of all COVID cases nationwide, according to the CDC.
"There will probably be other monoclonals that come along fairly soon that will work against Omicron, but right now they're not out there, so there's no point in giving something that doesn't work at all," said Unnasch.