DELAND, Fla. – Five hundred people signed up to get tested at the Volusia County Fairgrounds on Monday for the first day of testing and vaccines at the site.
County leaders said they opened this site because they wanted to alleviate some of the long lines at the other testing sites in the county. After still seeing long lines at those sites Monday, they said they would add more appointments at the fairgrounds in the coming days.
“As you can see it’s kind of sparce lines. I think this was a good test for today, the very first day, so I think we can adjust how many registrations go tomorrow and Thursday and Friday,” said Tom Cisco, deputy director of Volusia Emergency Management.
The hundreds rolled through the fairgrounds Monday to get their rapid test and results about 15 minutes later. Family Health Source prefers appointments but isn’t turning away anyone showing up.
The county’s health department reports rising case numbers with the latest showing Volusia’s positivity rate at 29%.
“Dewey Booster has been averaging 500 to 600. The site in Daytona Beach is doing anywhere between 300 to 500 a day and then New Smyrna Beach is doing 900 to 1,000 every day,” said Cisco about the other sites’ testing numbers.
Cisco said all of the county’s test sites continue to see record-long lines and that has caused a backlog in results for some.
“If we’re getting close to that peak hopefully, we see those numbers decline and things get a little bit more manageable especially with the opening of another testing site,” said Ethan Johnson with the county’s health department.
The department reports just within the last week, the data jumped from 713 cases per 100,000 people to 1,166 cases per 100,000.
Johnson said they think cases will peak sooner than originally thought because this variant is transmitting faster.
“So, if we’re looking at that case rate of 1,166.5 folks, that will likely climb a little bit more but we’re hoping we max out soon,” he said.
In the meantime, the health officials are encouraging people only to get tested if necessary.
“That testing we want to prioritize for people with known exposure, you can’t travel without a negative test result, if you live in a group living facility or are symptomatic,” said Johnson.
You can make an appointment for the fairgrounds testing site on the Family Health Source website.