Orange County to open third COVID testing site as people run out of options

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County will open a third mass COVID-19 testing site after its two existing sites reached capacity hours early Tuesday.

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The third site will open at the South Orange Youth Sports Complex, which is at 11800 S. Orange Avenue, starting Thursday morning. The county hopes it will draw tourists and residents living around it away from Barnett Park and the Econ Soccer complex.

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“We are doing the best that we could do to take care of our residents during this current surge,” Mayor Jerry Demings said, asking why the Florida state government wasn’t offering any assistance after months of crowing about low case rates.

It might seem strange to sit in a line for upwards of five hours to get tested, but resources have quickly run dry amid the Omicron surge.

CVS and Walgreens locations throughout the area are out of rapid home testing kits, with associates inside stores saying customers will ask for one as often as once every three minutes.

The companies’ websites also do not offer quick solutions. Testing appointments near Orlando are booked until Tuesday on CVS’ site. Walgreens has set up a waiting room to control website traffic. Appointments through the provider are scarce.

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Orlando International Airport offers testing for those willing to pay for parking and the test itself, however customers at the site said they waited as long as two hours to be seen.

Some cities, like Apopka, offer their own sites. It’s unclear what the capacity of those sites are.

Seminole County will distribute 8,000 home kits Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m. at Seminole State College’s Lake Mary campus.

As Eyewitness News visited sites day after day, people waiting in line expressed frustration with the lack of supply.

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“Super unnecessary,” one driver summed up.

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