The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Orange County Convention Center that’s been open for about a week only to first responders, health care workers and those aged 65 and over with symptoms will now test more people starting Wednesday.
Florida emergency management officials were authorized to expand testing at the Orlando site. It will open at 9 a.m. and go until 5 p.m. or until 250 tests are completed. Anyone with a pre-existing medical condition such as asthma, diabetes or cancer, or is symptomatic with respiratory issues and a fever over 99.6 degrees is now eligible to be tested for coronavirus. They’ll need to bring ID and an insurance card, but the test is free.
The original restrictions were imposed because of limited numbers of kits to collect and test saliva samples.
With more testing, numbers of confirmed cases may rise faster in places like Osceola County, which saw its number of positive cases rise from 94 to 110 on Tuesday. That’s all part of expanded testing in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.
“South Korea tested 1 in 200 people,” he said. “If we can get to 100,000 tests, we’ll be at that 1 in 200 level ourselves.”
According to the Department of Health, the state has done 64,661 tests, with 6,741 positives, a 10.4 percent rate which has been increasing. The state reports 85 COVID-19 related deaths.