BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County leaders on Monday said the majority of coronavirus cases they’re seeing are not travel related and because of that, they would like to see a local drive-thru COVID-19 testing site established.
As of now, there are 31 cases -- 21 men and 10 women -- in Brevard County.
Three of those people traveled from New York and do not live full-time or part-time in the county, Brevard Commission Chair Bryan Lober said.
Aside from those, a “significant portion” of the COVID-19 patients in Brevard did not have a recent travel history that could have caused them to contract the respiratory illness.
“There is community transmission of the virus,” Brevard County communications director Don Walker said.
Thus far, less than 1/10th of 1% of Brevard County residents have been tested, which ranks near the bottom of the state, according to Walker.
A drive-thru testing site could help boost that number while reducing the risk of coronavirus being spread through emergency rooms and doctor’s offices by people who show up for treatment without realizing that they are positive for COVID-19.
Currently, The Florida Department of Health does have a testing site at an office in Viera that’s available to people that meet certain requirements. Anyone who thinks they might need testing at that site should first call 321-454-7141 for pre-screening.
Even with the prospect of community transmission, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said that at this point he doesn’t want to shut down the beaches or issue a mandatory stay-at-home order.
“It’s not only about eradicating the virus, it’s about protecting our citizens’ rights,” Ivey said.
According to the sheriff, the crowds at the beaches this past weekend were significantly reduced and the main reason leaders decided to shut down then reopen the shores is because they wanted to keep spring breakers away.
Ultimately, he said it’s every resident’s duty to follow social distancing guidelines, stay home if they’re among those most at risk and avoid mass gatherings.
“If everyone does what they’re supposed to do, we don’t have to have a stay-at-home order,” Ivey said.