ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The COVID-19 testing site in Orange County had to shut down its operations Wednesday hours before it was expected to close.
The site reached its daily limit of 250 tests given around noon after expecting to remain open until 5 p.m.
Officials received clearance from the federal government Tuesday to expand its testing criteria to allow more people to drive through and get tested.
Now, anyone who has a fever of at least 99.6 and a cough can get tested at the location, no matter how old. Anyone who has preexisting conditions like asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure can also be tested at the drive-through site, located on the east side of the Orange County Convention Center.
You won’t need anything to prove you have those issues -- the site is going off the honor system.
Testing at the site will continue each day at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. or whenever health officials have administered the maximum amount of tests for the day.
Before, the site was only testing people who were 65 or older with symptoms. In Orange County, the media age of positive patients is 45 years old. The site has tested roughly 1,500 people and turned away about 500.
“We are hoping with the changes, we are making today that will minimize and close the gap of the number of people that are turned away,” said John Scott with the Orange County testing site.
The Florida Department of Health said Tuesday night that more than 63,000 people in the state have been tested for COVID-19, and about 10% have come back positive.
The county says they can only process so many applications a day because of social distancing. They have about 50 staff spread across three facilities, and must limit who else comes into the buildings.
The budge for assistance is $1.8 million, but the county can increase the budget and said they will discuss doing that at their next county commission meeting.
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