Marion County opens second COVID testing site due to high demand

Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park to host testing service

(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

OCALA, Fla. – Marion County will open a second free COVID-19 testing site to help meet high demand.

Statlab Mobile, a COVID-19 mobile clinical testing service, will offer free drive-thru testing from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday through Thursday beginning Wednesday, Aug. 25, at the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park at 11008 S. Highway 475 in Ocala.

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Anyone who would like to be tested must enter through the County Road 475 public entrance. Vehicles may line up starting at 7 a.m. on testing days. To be tested, individuals should bring a valid photo ID. Minors under age 18 will only be tested if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Residents should be prepared to stay in their vehicles while awaiting testing; restroom facilities will not be available. Only those who are being tested should be in the vehicle, with the exception of parents, guardians or caregivers. No pets are permitted in the vehicle during tests. School students should refrain from eating or drinking anything 15 to 30 minutes prior to their tests.

Statlab Mobile will provide a diagnostic PCR COVID-19 test, providing results within 36–48 hours via encrypted email. People who do not have access to email can call Statlab Mobile at 844-469-5227 for test results.

“Testing demand in our community has increased significantly,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “In order to meet the demand, we have partnered with the Florida Horse Park to provide additional testing opportunities. We appreciate the horse park opening their doors to the community while we are experiencing this surge in COVID-19 cases.”

Free, county-sponsored drive-thru COVID-19 testing is available weekly at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road in Ocala on the following dates:

  • Aug. 25
  • Aug. 30
  • Sept. 1
  • Sept. 6
  • Sept. 8
  • Sept. 13
  • Sept. 15
  • Sept. 22
  • Sept. 27
  • Sept. 29

The weekly testing will continue through Sept. 30 and will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day it is provided, an increase from the once-a-week testing that began earlier this month. Results are available in three to five days.

For more information, call the Department of Health in Marion County at 352-644-2590.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.