MARION COUNTY, Fla. – The Department of Health in Marion County will soon be moving its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site and making some changes as to how the site is operated.
Starting Aug. 11, the site will move from the department’s Ocala office to the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion on Jacksonville Road in Ocala. Once that location opens, residents will no longer need to make appointments and instead, testing will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
“The appointment-based process allowed us to avoid long wait times that people using many other testing sites in the state experienced,” Florida Department of Health in Marion County administrator Mark Lander said in a news release. “However, we routinely had more than 100 people not show up for their appointments, which meant people who wanted testing were unable to get timely appointments. It also led to a waste of resources when we had to schedule and then cancel more than 100 lab orders each day. We will be able to be more efficient with our resources this way, while testing everyone who truly desires to be tested.”
Testing will be offered at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. or until all the samples for the day are used up, whichever comes first. Anyone who would like to be tested can begin lining up at 7:30 a.m. each testing day.
Only those who are being tested should be in the vehicle, unless a parent, guardian or caregiver is needed. No pets are allowed at the test site.
Anyone who needs to be tested should bring a photo I.D. and be prepared to wait in their vehicle. They should note that restrooms are not available at the site. Those under 18 can only be tested if their parent or guardian is present with them.
Anyone with questions should call the Marion County COVID-19 Hotline at 352-644-2590.