TAMPA, Fla. — Coronavirus testing sites are beginning to pop up around the state, including in the Tampa Bay area — though you can't just drive up without meeting certain criteria.
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The sites allow people to be tested for the highly contagious virus without leaving their cars.
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Patients began lining Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard early Sunday morning to be some of the first at BayCare's newest coronavirus testing site outside of Quest Diagnostics across from Raymond James Stadium.
Patients cannot just show up, though: They need a prescription from their doctor to make sure they meet the CDC requirements.
Patients there said the process was easy and only took about five minutes.
Health officials at the sites will ask you about your symptoms, if you have traveled, and if you have been around anyone with the virus.
CORRECTION: There are a few other testing sights in Hillsborough County. According to our media partners at the Tampa Bay Times, these other locations are also operating from 9am-1pm every day. pic.twitter.com/EURGjrF5Vx— Ashley Paul (@AshleyPaulTV) March 22, 2020
On Sunday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said officials are trying to expand testing as much as possible across the state. He says it comes down to a matter of supply.
"There are enough supplies to test in each location, about 2,500 people right now. Right now, obviously we want to backfill and add more supplies," he said.
Hillsborough County’s first coronavirus drive through testing site will start seeing patients at 9am. They are set up outside the Quest Diagnostics by the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. @BN9 #bn9covid19 pic.twitter.com/zXqr4qe7lF— Ashley Paul (@AshleyPaulTV) March 22, 2020
Meanwhile, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Saturday she expects a stay-at-home order to be put in place this week, if not by the state, then potentially by the county.
This would mean all non-essential businesses would be forced to close indefinitely until the virus threat blows over.
The comments prompted a response from Hillsborough County Commissioner Lesley Miller, who said there's no to reason to believe a stay-at-home order will be put in place.
"We have not called an emergency declaration to stay home. If that comes about, we will let everyone know from the county. The county administrator will be the one to do that because the order gives him the power through the policy group to make those decisions," she said.