Orange County

Florida coronavirus testing sites reach capacity over post-holiday surge

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida saw a surge in coronavirus testing leading into the busy holiday season.

As Floridians return home after the holidays, testing sites are continuing to reach capacity.

Officials with Florida’s COVID-19 testing sites said they are flooded with people looking for tests. They are asking people need a test to pre-register online to help speed the process up.

Read: After Christmas delay, Florida reports more than 17,000 COVID-19 cases and 142 virus-related deaths

“Remember we are on holiday, but the virus isn’t,” said Dr. DeBorah German with the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine.

Dr. German’s message seems to be resonating for thousands.

People all across Central Florida are lining up at testing sites to check if they have been infected.

Sites across our area were closed for two days, and reopened Saturday as expected.

“All of the state testing sites have been busy,” said Mike Jachels with the Florida Association of Public Information Officers.

Watch: As COVID-19 vaccine trials continue, the need for minority participants remains

Officials said so many people showed up Saturday, the Orange County Convention Center had to close the gates early at 2:30 p.m. Over at Barnett Park, it was a similar story. The line got cut off at 3:45 p.m.

“The last thing we want is to have to turn somebody away.” Jachels said.

At the end of Saturday, close to 2,500 people were tested at the Orange County Convention Center.

Officials said they believe the demand is high because people are traveling and getting together with family members, so they want to be sure they didn’t get infected.

Watch: ‘It was incredible’: Local restaurant owner’s son saves father’s business with social media post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising that anyone who is looking to get tested for COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after their trip.

More information on how to register for COVID-19 testing in Florida can be found here.