Hundreds line up for COVID-19 tests at Red Bug Lake Park on New Year’s Eve

Tests were by appointment only

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – On New Year’s Eve, about 500 people got tested for COVID-19 at Red Bug Lake Park in Seminole County. The site offered rapid tests.

Compared to other Central Florida testing sites, it was a much easier process because it was by appointment only. Therefore, there were no wait times or long lines.

“Over the holidays my wife tested positive,” Russell Stoewe said. “It’s been a few days but now we’re checking to see how we are, chances are we are.”

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Stoewe and his wife have a one-year-old daughter and keeping her safe is a top priority. They told News 6 they’re getting tested every three days.

“I feel fine. It’s a head cold kind of thing. The biggest concern is her, just because she’s unvaccinated. We’re vaccinated with boosters and we still got it,” Stoewe said.

The family was able to book an appointment and got tested within 10 minutes.

Paul Hook tried to get tested without an appointment but had no luck.

“I’ve had the booster so I’m not as concerned,” Hook said.

Hook said he will quarantine.

“[The] plan is to go home, isolate, watch football tonight, not go out, try to feel better. A lot of my friends have, they’ve all gotten the COVID in the last week.”

The Mora-Quintero family went to the testing site because they have a flight on Sunday back home.

“We made the appointment last Monday. Like about five days ago-four days ago,” Susan Quintero said. “We are planning to go back to Canada, that’s where we live so we needed to test everyone 72 hours before [the] flight.”

They’re hoping her husband’s results come back negative. Alex Mora tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

“Little bit of headache; very light fever-coughing for 2 or 3 days but I’m much better today,” Mora said. “If it’s not negative we cannot board the plane. We have family here in central Florida area so we’d need to make arrangements to probably stay at a hotel and you know, rent a car for one more week or so.”


About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.