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