Drive-through coronavirus testing got off to a great start in Osceola County Thursday at Osceola Heritage Park on Thursday.

On a sunny, breezy and warm day, a strike force of about 40 friendly nurses, technicians, runners and traffic directors helped get 380 people through three lines and get tested for COVID-19. While the site leaders from AdventHealth had worked at the provider’s three other Central Florida test sites, the rest of the staff were in Day One of this important operation, and they pulled it off.

The site is in operation each day through May 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. While it’s recommended to make an online reservation, they will test those who do not have one, along with walk-ups. Bring ID and an insurance card, although insurance is not necessary to test as AdventHealth is covering all costs. There were 250 people already registered for Friday’s testing day, which is supposed to feature rain after about 11 a.m., at the close of Thursday’s testing. (You will receive a text, email or call if weather changes plans Friday)

Those tested at the site will receive a text message with instructions on how to retrieve their results. Additionally, those who are found to be positive for the respiratory illness will receive a call from a nurse to provide care instructions.

If you plan to go this weekend or next week:

  • Know that this is a laid-back test site, so don’t be worried or intimidated about going if you meet the criteria and feel strongly about getting tested. It’s easy and minimally clinical.
  • Enter OHP off of Bill Beck Boulevard, and follow the signs and cones.
  • A screening tent is the first stop you’ll make to see if you meet testing criteria.
  • From there, if you pass screening, you will be directed to one of three lines for the testing. Approach the tent with windows rolled up. Depending on the line, testing, which involves spitting into a cup, takes from five to 20 minutes. You will then exit onto Shakerag Road and be on your way.
  • Everyone is expected to remain in their cars during testing, so there’s no bathroom breaks. Make a pit stop before you leave your house — it will also remind you to wash your hands.
  • Thursday, crowds thinned out after 11 a.m. If you’re coming without a reservation, think about coming later in the day. Staff said “a hurricane hit us the first hour and a half” of people who didn’t pre-register.

Widespread testing will help get our community back to its “new normal” faster. Thanks to AdventHealth for getting testing off and running in Osceola County!