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Don’t show up at COVID-19 drive-thru testing site unannounced

Doctors say they have limited amount of tests, patients need to be pre-screened first

Doctors at Premiere Medical Associates in The Villages and Ocala say they have fielded more than 75 phone calls since Monday from people wanting to be tested, however, only 24 of those callers got the go ahead to come get tested at one of the group’s drive through test sites.

Premiere Medical Associates have set up mobile test sites in Ocala, The Villages and Leesburg. There are plans to open one up in Mount Dora soon.

They are testing people of all ages.

Dr. Ruben Hermann, who was one of the PMA doctors swabbing drive-up patients.

“We’ve seen them between the ages of 20 up to 65, 70,” Hermann said. “So we’ve seen a big amount, a big range of ages.”

It’s important people know that the drive-thru testing is done by appointment only.

Doctors said they have a limited amount of COVID-19 tests available, and can’t just test people who show up unannounced.

Doctors confirm the Premiere Medical Associates offices are getting flooded with phone calls from people asking questions and checking to see if they can get tested next.

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A team of six doctors at The Villages PMA office are screening all those calls and out of more than 75 calls they’ve received they have set up appointments for a third of those callers to come to the drive-up area so they could be swabbed and their sample sent to the lab.

“Test results usually take between 3 to 4 days to get the results,” PMA Dr. Carlos Ramirez said. “In each case they are waiting that amount of time.”

PMA doctors say they are still waiting to see if any of the drive-thru tests come back positive for COVID-19. And more people with symptoms keep calling in to set up appointments to be tested.

“We just tested two patients. One of them was pregnant and 22 years old, the other was 22 as well,” Hermann. “She just got back from Ireland Tuesday night and she was there with several friends. One of them just tested positive for the coronavirus and now has fever and fatigue.”

Anyone who thinks they should be tested is asked to call this number to be screened: 352-561-3182.

[INTERACTIVE MAP: Here’s where to get your drive-thru coronavirus test]

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