TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Hillsborough County continues to see strong demand for COVID-19 testing. On Monday, the county opened a third test site at the Hillsborough Community College Brandon site, but it closed early because so many people showed up!
At the new test site on Nancy Watkins Drive, officials tested 300 people within the first hour of opening.
Human Services and Mass Care Coordinator for Hillsborough County, Katia Miller says, “We’ve seen the demand we expected, which we’re seeing in the other two locations.”
Miller says the new COVID-19 testing site at the Hillsborough Community College Brandon site is experiencing some heavy traffic.
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know if someone or a third party doesn’t have COVID-19,” Miller said.
Since the new site opened on Monday, the cars have been packed and people waited up to two hours to be tested.
“We decided to open a third site to relieve some of that pressure,” Miller said.
The lines are so long there, one man even ran out of gas while waiting in line and county workers had to push his car to the side of the test site.
“Come with a full tank of gas when you come here, and we have facilities if people need to use them. It’s just patience,” Miller said.
The county says the other two locations in the West Tampa Community Resource Center and Progress Village Park also have long wait times, but on Monday around 2:30 p.m., so many people showed up at Hillsborough Community College to get tested that county officials stopped taking them. allowing someone else in line. More than 1,300 people were tested on this site.
“We’re seeing that demand and that increase here,” Miller said.
The new site is drive-thru only and offers both PCR and rapid COVID-19 testing.
The miller says the county is asking the state to provide more testing to the area.
“We continue to ask for that, we have also made a request to our partners at the GGD for the home tests. We’ve put in a request for 500,000,” Miller said.
County health officials say if demand continues to rise, they will consider opening another site.