Orange County Public Schools offers free COVID-19 testing

Dozens line up for free testing at Union Park Elementary

OCPS opens new testing sites as lawyers argue about mask mandates

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools continues to offer free COVID testing at area schools. It’s opening testing up to the public on the weekends.

Mary Lincoln joined dozens of others at Union Park Elementary on Sunday. She brought her family to get tested after she said her daughter came in contact with a COVID-positive student at Jones High School.

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“When I got that call I was like, ‘Oh gosh,’ because I have health issues. So that was one of my major concerns was getting sick,” Lincoln said.

The district is partnering with the Orange County Health Department to offer free COVID testing every day at schools across the county. The district said weekday testing is specifically for students, parents and OCPS staff, while weekend testing is open to the public.

“They have testing [at] a lot of places, but they’re so crowded and everything. It’s an opportunity to get them out and get them tested,” she said.

She said she’s worried getting tested could become part of a normal routine as schools see more cases.

“They’re still having outbreaks, like everyday I’m getting the automated phone call saying we have five kids testing positive for it so we’ll let you know if your child was around that student,” Lincoln said.

Lincoln said she supports a universal mask mandate, which the board discussed during an emergency meeting on Thursday, but no action was taken.

Two lawsuits against the governor’s mask ban are making their way through state and federal courts. A three-day hearing in one case starts on Monday.

Lincoln said this is putting parents like herself in a waiting game.

“It is tough for sending them back to school compared to having them at home,” she said.