Drive-thru testing availability county-by-county

Posted at 5:44 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 09:45:59-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- As Florida continues to see an uptick in coronavirus cases, testing is more important than ever. Yet we're seeing some counties in Florida scale back testing availability, as others are ramping up.

Fox 4 took a look at the latest numbers across four different counties to help better understand why.

Despite Florida's uptick in new coronavirus cases, the NCH Healthcare System in Collier County said its drive-thru COVID-19 testing at NCH Baker Hospital will end Friday. NCH said that's because it's now easier to get a test through your doctor's office.

Data from the most recent state report shows that over the last 14-days, Collier reported more than 3,500 total cases. As we see testing sites like this scale back, options are only increasing in other parts of the state.

During a news conference Thursday, the governor announced plans to open a new testing site in Pinellas County at Tropicana Field. The county did show about 1,100 more cases for the same two-week period. But its new testing site will likely mimic that of Century Link Sports Complex in Lee County, which has seen a steady demand. And the numbers for Lee and Collier counties aren't too far apart. They show about a 540 difference.

Given NCH's decision, we reached out to Lee Health to ask if it has any plans to stop COVID testing at its Lee Convenient Care - Page Field location in the near future. It said at this time, it has no plans to stop the collection there.

Then there's brand new sites like the one opening in Hendry County Friday, at the EMS station in Labelle. It's opening despite the county reporting significantly less total cases over the same period, in the 800 range.

DeSantis said amid Florida's uptick, he plans to expand the number of lanes at various state-run drive-thru sites, suggesting the need for testing is only growing across our state.

So the question is whether or not the change in Collier County will impact the area's data, with people less likely to make a doctor's appointment to get tested.

You can take a look at the full state report here.