Largest COVID-19 testing site in Central Florida closes Sunday

State-run testing site at Orange County Convention Center administered 400,000 tests

Testing ends at Orange county convention center
Testing ends at Orange county convention center

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Central Florida’s largest testing site at the Orange County Convention Center will officially close by 5 p.m. Sunday after serving Central Floridians and visitors since the last week of March of 2020.

According to Mike Jachles, spokesman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the site had served its intent.

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“Over 400,000 tests have been administered at the site. They have done a commendable job,” Jachles said. “It really served a great intent and now with other places offering testing and with the vaccines, it was just the right moment to transition.”

Jachles added it also was the right time as the state heads into hurricane season, saying an indoor, more controlled environment would work better. However, Jachles said they aren’t closing because there was no demand at the site.

“We are still testing up to 2,000 people a day, in Miami at the Hard Rock we are testing over 4,000 a day.” Jachles added. “Now there are other opportunities and avenues for people to get those tests done.”

According to the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 website there are some community centers locally still offering testing:

Alafaya Health Center

11881-A E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32826

M-F 8AM-10PM

Barnett Park

4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808

7 DAYS A WEEK 9-5

Community Health Centers

210 E. 7th Street, Apopka, FL 32703

TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS 9AM-4PM

Maingate Complex

3010 Maingate Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34747

M-F 8AM-4PM

Federal officials say no-cost testing is also available at local health centers, urgent cares and select pharmacies including CVS Health, Walgreens and Walmart.

However, according to Marilyn Vasquez at the OCCC’s testing site Sunday morning, she couldn’t find many pharmacies offering PCR. Many only offering the rapid antigen tests.

“I am here because I’m going to Puerto Rico and I have to do my test,” she said. “I looked it up at a couple of Walgreens and CVS and only on in St. Cloud is doing PCR, only one.”

According to several travel websites, for international travel and travel to the Caribbean Islands require a PCR test. The CDC’s website requires a negative test results for those arriving internationally as well.


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