Orange County extends testing in coronavirus hot spots

Leaders say testing plays a vital role in determining what businesses can reopen

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Coronavirus testing in Orange County hot spots is being extended after county leaders say they’ve reached daily capacity limits at each location since opening on Wednesday.

The testing sites are located at Ventura Elementary School and South Orange Youth Park.

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The locations represent the 32822 and 32824 zip codes, which have seen some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the county.

The sites were previously scheduled to run until Friday, but have now been extended indefinitely based on demand.

"When you inject a sight right in their neighborhood, we see that they really do come," Public Safety Director Danny Banks said. "Our original plan was these three days of this week. Today was going to be the last day, but we really saw the demand."

Banks said the county was able to increase testing to 200 at each site per day after receiving an additional 2,000 nasal swab tests.

"The state's been very responsive within the last week of supplying us those kits, so we're looking forward to getting another reload of them next week," he said.

State and local leaders have said testing plays a vital role in determining what businesses can reopen in areas affected by the coronavirus. Florida’s phase one plan for reopening goes into effect on Monday.

“Testing is going to play an important part of that because we have to be able to monitor the impacts,” Banks said. “We’re all sensitive to ‘Is reopening going to drive our COVID-19 numbers up?’ Well, the only way we’re going to know that is through testing.”

The tests at each site are by appointment only through ocfl.net/coronavirus.

Banks said testing will continue as long as there is a demand and supply of test kits from the state.

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