Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that the state of Florida will begin sending up to one million rapid tests to residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes as part of his seniors first emphasis.

He made the announcement during a visit to the Rehabilitation Center of the Palm Beaches where he met with leaders in the senior care industry and discussed the importance of allocating resources for high-value testing that prioritizes Florida’s seniors, all of whom are eligible for monoclonal antibodies as well as other early treatments. In Osceola County on Wednesday at NeoCity the Governor addressed COVID-19 questions and said he would be supplying those home tests to seniors first.

“We are redoubling our commitment to putting Seniors First by prioritizing the delivery of test kits to assisted living facilities and nursing homes,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We’ve secured up to one million tests to be used for those most vulnerable to coronavirus complications, allowing us to put Seniors First for early treatments which save lives.”

The Governor says he is extending Florida’s data-driven Seniors First approach to include  Seniors First for vaccines; Seniors First for tests; and Seniors First for early treatments.

Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, M.D., Ph.D.  said, “Those that are at high-risk for COVID-19, such as seniors and immunocompromised individuals, should be prioritized for testing and treatment. We remain confident that the federal government will proceed with our request for 30,000 doses of lifesaving treatment.” 

“The Division is proud to secure these at-home COVID-19 test kits for our most vulnerable populations,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “This is another example of how the Division is prepared and built for speed. With our partners at the Florida Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration, we will continue to lead the way in responding to COVID-19.”  

Today, DOH issued updated testing guidance and recommendations to maximize benefits of COVID-19 testing in Florida.

The following guidance and recommendations have been issued to maximize the benefits of COVID-19 testing in Florida.

Many individuals with COVID-19 may have no symptoms or a mild illness. If you get symptoms, you should avoid contact with others. A positive COVID-19 test result will not change this recommendation. There are certain groups who are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Severe illness means that an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 may need hospitalization, intensive care, or that they may even die.

Groups at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • Older adults, especially those age 65 and older.
  • Individuals with certain medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, chronic lung diseases,
  • heart conditions, and a weakened immune system (immunocompromised).
  • Pregnant or recently pregnant individuals.

Individuals with Symptoms and Risk Factors

Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 and who are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Should get tested for COVID-19 soon after symptom onset.
  • Should seek early monoclonal antibody or antiviral drug treatment and seek other medical treatment as necessary.
  • Individuals with Symptoms and No Risk Factors

Individuals with symptoms and who are not at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID19:

  • Consider getting tested for COVID-19 soon after symptom onset.
  • Seek medical treatment only as necessary.

Individuals with No Symptoms

  • Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but have no symptoms:
  • COVID-19 testing is unlikely to have any clinical benefits