Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the success of the state’s first two walk-up COVID-19 testing sites in Broward County is prompting state officials to introduce additional walk-up sites in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
Both of the Broward sites were set up in order to serve communities where residents do not have cars to get tested at drive-thru sites.
These locations, located in Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, are for individuals who showg symptoms consistent with the virus — fever, a dry cough, fatigue, and in some cases, a runny nose and congestion.
Nearly 1,600 people have been swabbed at those two sites so far.
Those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive may also request a test between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
State officials also plan to expand testing to more residents of nursing homes and assisted-care facilities, and to roll out so-called antibody testing, which can assess whether individuals have had infections.
The governor also said he has been encouraged with the leveling off of cases in our state, and that nearly 18,000 more tests will be processed as a result of a new lab contract.
He also questioned the World Health Organization and China’s responses to the virus.
Flattening the curve was necessary to prevent our hospital system from being overwhelmed. FL has dramatically increased its hospital bed and ICU bed capacity since the start of the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/5YDOpDEpcw
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 21, 2020
“This World Health Organization, I think the president is right on that. They were basically parroting China talking points. The World Health Organization in January, after what we saw was going on, said there was no evidence, that the coronavirus was transmissible person-to-person,” DeSantis said.
He added that he plans to encourage companies that make life-saving medical equipment to move their manufacturing operations out of China.
As of Wednesday evening, 28,576 cases and 927 deaths have been confirmed in Florida.
Palm Beach County has 2,403 cases and 131 deaths, while Broward has 4,228 cases and 141 fatalities.
Miami-Dade County has the most confirmed cases in the state, at 10,153, along with 240 deaths.
More than 290,400 people in Florida have had a COVID-19 test so far. That represents the third-largest amount in the country, although it comprises less than two percent of the state’s population. Florida is the third most populous state, after California and Texas.