Lakeland gets COVID-19 testing center just for kids

Lakeland Regional Medical Center just opened a new COVID-19 testing center for kids, one of the first of its kind in the area.

It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, and Lakeland Regional experts say it offers a number of advantages over other sites.

Results are expected to come quickly. Other places can take five days or more to give you results.

“With a physician’s order you come in, you get tested. We call or text you the following day with the results, so it’s a rapid turnaround time,” promised April Novotny, the chief nurse at Lakeland Regional. “So it’s peace of mind to get those results quickly.”

Novotny also says the new testing center has been designed to be a comforting place for juveniles, especially young children.

“We have balloons, stickers and distraction techniques,” she added.

Since June, close to 140 kids have tested positive for the coronavirus at Lakeland Regional.

More than 70 people have tested positive on Polk County campuses since school opened a little more than two weeks ago.

It’s unclear how many, if any, are children.