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Coronavirus testing sites expected to stay busy throughout Thanksgiving week

Residents should prepare for long lines, wait times

ORLANDO, Fla. – Drivers began lining up in their cars outside the Orange County Convention Center before 6 a.m. on Monday to get tested for COVID-19.

Emergency management officials said long lines are expected again this week as millions prepare to travel for Thanksgiving.

“Since the Orange County Convention Center test site opened back in spring, they conducted over 137,000 of the PCR test, almost 35,000 of the antigen test and that was up until Saturday, actually,” Mike Jachles with the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

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Jachles explained it will not only be busy on Monday, but he’s expecting all state-run testing sites to be busy leading up to Thursday.

He’s urging people to plan ahead and have a full tank of gas and use the restroom before arriving to the testing site.

Jachles also said people should know what test they will need before traveling whether it’s a PCR or molecular test, which allows up to three days for results depending on lab workload or a rapid antigen test, which provides results in the same day.

“So I would check with your airline and check with whichever site or lab that you want to go to, to make sure that you can get your results in time for your travel,” he said.

Another recommendation for people planning on getting a test at the convention center is to preregister at patientportalfl.com.


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