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Testing Will Slow Along the East Coast, But Not Stop Entirely

July 31st, 2020 by Jake Stofan

State run COVID-19 testing sites along the east cost will be closed for the weekend and possibly through Tuesday depending on the track of Hurricane Isaias.

Despite the closure,s the Governor doesn’t believe it will make a significant dent in overall testing.

Safety protocols were tight at the State EOC ahead of the Governor’s Friday morning briefing.

Reporters were given a rapid test before entering.

After testing negative, an extended line of questioning was administered at the door.

But for many Floridians the hurricane will make it harder to get a test.

State testing sites will be closed in impacted areas on the east coast.

“So the ones on the west coast of Florida are open,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Among the areas impacted, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach; where the bulk of positive cases are found.

The Governor said private labs, hospitals and community sites may decide to stay open through the storm.

And those account for the largest portion of tests.

“Our sites because they’re outdoors with tents, you know if it were to get 40 to 50 mile an hour winds it would just collapse and so safety is paramount for that,” said DeSantis.

Only time will tell how big of an impact the testing shutdown will make on daily case totals though.

“Because some of these tests that get reported, I mean we’ll get data dumps for positives that were three weeks ago,” said DeSantis.

Since the track of the storm is still subject to change, the Governor said if it moves further off the coast, state test sites on the eastern peninsula could reopen early.

The Governor also noted that going forward he hopes to implement more rapid testing, especially in South Florida.

He said that will make the daily case totals more reflective of what is happening in real time.

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