ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — If you’re hoping to get tested for COVID-19 in Pinellas County before Thanksgiving, plan on getting there sooner rather than later.
The county is reporting an increase at its testing sites, and they’ve even had to close the Tropicana Field site early for the last several days because of it.
What You Need To Know
- Pinellas County reports increase in coronavirus testing
- Officials stressing importance of following CDC guidelines during Thanksgiving
- Coronavirus LIVE UPDATES: What To Know In The Bay Area
But a test today, does not mean you’re free and clear.
“The test you get is telling you your result for that particular day you're tested, so if you get tested today, and you get the result in a couple of days, that tells you what your status was in terms of COVID-19 infection that day, but if you've been around other people there's still potential to getting infected and spreading it to other people,” said Josh Boatwright with Pinellas County.
Officials say that’s why it’s so important to still follow CDC guidelines this Thanksgiving- wear your mask, wash your hands, and distance as much as possible.
For the last week, there’s been a long line of cars with people waiting to be tested at the Tropicana Field drive-thru site. Officials said if you need your test result before Thanksgiving, Tuesday is likely your last chance to do a PCR test, and they warn, the rapid test isn’t as accurate.
The long lines are expected after the holiday, too.
Officials recommend getting tested again when you return from traveling, or if you’ve been around people who aren’t in your immediate bubble.
“If you're not sure, our main message is you need to be taking precautions around other people until you either have a test, or there's been that 14 day quarantine where you know you're not showing symptoms,” said Boatwright.
Pinellas County said other testing sites in the county aren’t as busy as the Trop, so they may be better options for some people.
Expanded hours at Ruth Eckerd Hall testing site
Starting Monday, November 30, Pinellas County's COVID-19 testing site at Ruth Eckerd Hall is expanding its schedule to Monday through Friday, 7- 10 a.m.
For the remainder of this week, the site at 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, will operate Tuesday and Wednesday, 7-10 a.m., close Thursday for Thanksgiving, and reopen for reduced hours Friday, from 7-9 a.m.
Pinellas County has several sites offering tests at no cost; a list of many of those sites is available at: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/testing