COVID-19 testing difficult to find

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

COVID-19 cases across the state are on the rise. But can those looking for COVID-19 tests to see if they’re positive, find them?

Some counties’ health departments are working to expand their hours and locations for people to get COVID-19 tests. Many have told WINK News that finding a same-day test is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

At the Florida Department of Health building in Collier County, you can get a test but it isn’t easy. And, if you’re looking for a quicker option, the tests that offer results in 15 minutes are hard to find.

Cathy Field and her husband aren’t taking any chances so they booked appointments for COVID-19 tests. “We’re both vaccinated but we ran into some friends that said they were in contact with somebody that actually has COVID,” Cathy said. “Nobody knows what this variant is doing.”

Their appointments were booked with FDOH-Collier with no issue.

The facility has increased its hour for testing within the last few weeks to keep up with growing demand. Right now, they’re testing up to 125 people per pay. Yet, they aren’t seeing the same rise in demand for vaccines.

Kristine Hollingsworth is with the FDOH-Collier. “In contrast, we are only seeing about 20 people per day getting vaccinated,” she said. “Again, we can reduce the demand for testing by people receiving the vaccine.”

Over in Lee County, FDOH hopes to ramp up its testing capacity to 200 tests per day by the end of this week. Because the larger testing sites aren’t open, finding tests at pharmacies isn’t easy.

“I did go online and look at CVS, they were booked for testing. I think they’re more interested in doing the vaccines,” said Cathy.

Over the weekend, WINK News anchor Taylor Petras was able to book what she thought was a rapid test at Walgreens for Monday morning. when she arrived, a pharmacist said they were no longer offering rapid tests.

The Curative testing sites in Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres and a Lee Health center have hundreds of appointments available this week.

The health departments in Collier and Lee Counties do offer PCR tests. The results of those tests take between 24 and 48 hours to come back.

There are also rapid tests available at CVS for purchase for about $25. For quick peace of mind, that may be an option.

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