Orange County prepares to open 3rd COVID-19 testing site to help meet demand

New site opening at South Orange Youth Sports Complex

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County is opening a third COVID-19 testing site Thursday to help meet the demand.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced the new site during his COVID-19 update Tuesday afternoon, located at South Orange Youth Sports Complex, which comes days after the reopening of the county’s second COVID-19 test site at Econ Soccer Complex.

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The new site will be open seven days a week, except for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offer both PCR and rapid tests. This testing site will have drive-thru and walk-up testing options available.

The county’s testing sites have been at capacity every day for over a week as the new omicron variant fuels new infections across the country and in Florida. The Barnett Park testing site closed at noon on Tuesday with a five-hour wait while the site at Econ Soccer Complex closed at 1:15 p.m.

“Over the past two weeks, it has taken hold and now has everyone’s attention in our community,” Demings said. “We know that it is highly contagious, but results in less severe illness than the delta variant.”

The mayor said over 3,000 tests combined were administered at Barnett Park and Econ Soccer Complex on Monday.

“To put the number into perspective, in mid-November we were only doing 300-400 tests daily... In less than one week, Orange County has now tripled the number of tests being done daily,” he said.

The mayor also announced Econ Soccer Complex and Barnett Park hours for testing will now operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until they reach capacity.

Demings said county COVID-19 testing sites have been flooded with demand amid a wave of new infections and blamed a lack of response from Gov. Ron DeSantis, in part, for the sites being overwhelmed.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.