ORLANDO, Fla. – There will soon be a coronavirus testing clinic at Orlando International Airport.
Airport leaders made the announcement Wednesday, saying the program will be in partnership with AdventHealth Centra Care.
The testing site is being set up as part of the concession program and will be located pre-security on the airport’s third level at the west end of the main terminal in the storefront, which previously housed a Kennedy Space Center shop, according to Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown.
Airport executives say the location is to help provide a convenient testing opportunity for both travelers and airport employees as well as the overall Central Florida community.
“It gives somebody the opportunity that’s about to leave Orlando and may have quarantine issues wherever they’re going to get a negative test,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
Orlando becomes the latest in a growing number of cities globally to provide on-site testing. Los Angeles unveiled a testing site recently and in Rome, passengers arriving from New York, Newark and Atlanta can get a free rapid test.
“As travel increases, with certain destinations requiring COVID-19 testing prior to arrival, having an on-site clinic will enable us to better serve our customers and the community,” Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO said. “There are some concerns among the health officials in the country about traveling. Traveling is an exposure, what we’re trying to do is give travelers the options to best manage their exposures as best as they can.”
Nearly 1 million passengers made their way through Orlando International Airport for the Thanksgiving holiday and Brown predicts that number should hold steady for this upcoming holiday season.
The testing clinic is projected to open later in December, ahead of the holidays. Operations are scheduled to continue through the end of July 2021.
“We’re hopeful that we can get it before the holidays so we can do it safely and address everybody’s concerns,” Brown said.
Among those concerns still to be resolved: What happens if you or a member of your family tests positive before or after a flight?
“Where do we put them up? How do we rebook them? We have experience in doing that with travelers stranded in the past. Those are things we want to make sure when people take the test, they are aware of and what their responsibility is,” Brown said.
According to a presentation slide, the tests are expected to cost anywhere from $60-80 for a rapid antigen test and $160-190 for a rapid PCR test.