Palm Bay coronavirus test site works to reduce three-hour-long lines

Eastern Florida State College site adds extra testing lane, exclusive lane for first responders

Palm Bay coronavirus test site works to reduce three-hour-long lines
Palm Bay coronavirus test site works to reduce three-hour-long lines

PALM BAY, Fla. – Since opening in May, the Coronavirus testing site at Eastern Florida State College near Malabar Road said some drivers waited as long as three hours to get tested.

The incident commander said some lines were so long, Palm Bay police received complaints.

"We had cars backing up, really blocking traffic quite a bit, so it took a reset of the entire site," Steve Bracknell said. "Those waits have gone down significantly."

Bracknell said to less than 15 minutes on Thursday.

He credited, in large part, adding more than a half-dozen extra nurses.

And compared to when News 6 was at the site two months ago, a third lane for drivers getting tested is now open.

RELATED: Coronavirus drive-thru testing to open at Eastern Florida State College in Palm Bay

Plus, Bracknell said first responders are getting preferential treatment with a lane exclusively for them.

Melissa Dingman said getting tested Thursday went fine.

"It wasn't difficult or uncomfortable at all," she said.

Geneene Stewart from Palm Bay said the last time she got tested at the site, she waited for three hours.

Even worse, Stewart said she never got her results back.

Some other people who were tested at the site said getting their results took several days or even weeks.

But for Stewart, a shorter line Thursday was a good start for hopefully a better experience, overall.

"This was quite better," she said.

Another woman getting tested Thursday said it was an easy process.

"You came in, they gave you the information, they directed you and you're out," Kathy Gaines said.

The free testing site for adults is open every day from 9 to 5 and you don’t need an appointment, just bring a photo ID.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.