Orange County faces funding issue as it looks to keep Barnett Park testing site open

County ‘currently has no additional funding sources’

Testing at Barnett Park. (WKMG)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The future of coronavirus testing site at Barnett Park is uncertain.

Orange County currently has funding to keep the testing operation up and running through Jan. 30.

“The availability of testing remains a high priority for us, and we are continuing to evaluate opportunities to extend our Barnett site’s availability into the month of February,” Danny Banks, Orange County’s director of public safety, said in a statement. “The county currently has no additional funding sources.”

Banks added that the county plans to make an announcement on continuing testing at Barnett Park within the next week.

The county originally expected the funding for testing to run out at the end of December, when funds from the federal CARES Act were set to run out.

Congress approved a second, smaller federal spending bill on Dec. 21, 2020, which included $22 billion earmarked for states to use for testing, tracing and mitigation programs. It is unclear how much of that money was received by Orange County.

The Barnett Park testing site offers drive-thru testing seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rapid tests are available.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates produces News 6 at 5:30 and the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.