Fighting the rise of COVID-19 cases in SWFL

Reporter: Nicole Lauren Writer: Joey Pellegrino
A mobile COVID-19 testing site. Credit: WINK News

Positive cases of COVID-19 are creeping upward in Southwest Florida, and it’s spiking in much of the country. 83,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Saturday, and experts warn things will likely get worse.

Testing has decreased month-to-month here. In August, over 8,500 tests were administered; in September, a little over 5,000. As of early last week, October has seen a little over 4,700 people tested.

But now that rapid tests are being administered here, that number will likely only go up as we finish off the month. Doctors we spoke to say these rapid tests are key. It allows faster contact tracing, decreases the lag in getting results and allows health officials to find out exactly where cases are spiking much quicker.

“The virus is spreading in the community, we need to know that because knowing that is going to help us maybe target certain communities in areas that we can help,” said Dr. Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, chief medical officer at Millennium Physician Group.

Dr. Perez says it’s also beneficial to have some sort of mobile testing for people and communities that lack the ability to get to testing sites.

“Whatever we can do in any way, shape or form to improve the ability to test and make it mobile to bring it to those communities that, for many reasons, may not have the ability to get tested… that actually will benefit all the surrounding communities,” Perez-Trepichio said.

The Department of Health in Collier County is now running mobile COVID-19 testing and education sites targeting areas like Immokalee and Golden Gate Estates.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.