ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Pinellas County ramped up efforts to test for COVID-19 this week, launching three drive-through testing sites that are now open to the public.
The locations are free and appointments aren't necessary, although they are recommended.
Dr. Ulyee Choe, the director of the Florida Department of Health-Pinellas, updated county commissioners on the new testing centers Tuesday.
"We're going to continue to work with our community partners," Choe said. "With all these efforts going on with new additional sites, our goal is to really develop that robust testing."
Anyone can be tested at the new locations even if they don't have symptoms.
Until now, less than two percent of Floridians have been tested for coronavirus. Experts have said testing needs to be more widespread to get a better handle on how and where the virus is spreading.
Commissioners are hopeful these new testing sites help.
"We're thankful that you've ramped up the testing and that you have a lot of partners now working on that and that some sites can take anyone who would like to have a test," said Commissioner Karen Seel.
AdventHealth is expected open a fourth drive-up site in Pinellas County, commissioners learned. Meanwhile, BayCare health continues to operate pop-up testing sites throughout Tampa Bay.
The on-demand testing centers that opened Monday are at the following locations:
- 707 East Druid Road, Clearwater, FL 33756
- 7550 43rd Street North, Pinellas Park, FL 33781
- 1344 22nd Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (Johnnie Ruth Clarke Center)
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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