Volusia mayors want symptomatic COVID-19 testing lanes

Governor says he's working on it

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – All 16 mayors and County Chair Ed Kelley signed a letter asking Gov. Ron DeSantis for expedited symptomatic COVID-19 testing lanes in Volusia County.

Holly Hill Mayor Chris Via got the ball rolling last week and has been waiting 13 days for his test results to see if he’s positive for COVID-19.

"We've been hearing from a lot of our constituents that they have not received their test results and we're hearing that frustration. Unfortunately, I'm living that frustration," he said.

While Via said he's able to work from home, many residents in the county can't afford to do the same. Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry said he's been receiving complaints as well.

“This is a virus that attacks people’s health, but it’s also attacking our pocketbooks, our wallets and people cannot afford to stay home,” Henry said.

Henry believes there should be at least two expedited symptomatic lanes on both sides of the county, citing a federal report that shows Daytona Beach is one of the cities in the “red zone” when it comes to the amount of COVID-19 cases.

"I understand why the larger counties who have the greater spread have been prioritized. Well, now we need to move that priority down to counties like Volusia," he said.

On Friday, four counties throughout the state launched the drive thru lanes, including at the Orange County Convention Center. DeSantis addressed the issue during a news conference on Monday.

“This may be a model that we can expand, and maybe what we can do is, some of the test sites can be dedicated just for symptomatic,” the governor said.

Via told News 6 he spoke with DeSantis on Monday, who told him they’re going to try and implement the expedited symptomatic lanes in Volusia County as soon as possible.

“This is an issue that we all support and we all recognize that needs to be done. So, it’s an example of us speaking with one voice to a common problem,” Henry said.

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