covid 19 testing

Flashback about a month ago when anyone could make an appointment to get a COVID-19 test at the Alachua County Health Department drive-through testing site with or without symptoms. 

A phone call, appointment and the next day you were in and had results in two days.

Same thing for testing at UF Health Springhill drive-through site. A phone call, telemed appointment with your primary doctor and within an hour, you had a test ordered.

In the first few weeks of ramped up testing back in April, there were site tents lining the length of the parking garage at UF Health Springhill testing off 39th. Now there are three.

During the past three months, the University of Florida sent testing teams to The Villages retirement community, to Cedar Key, and set up testing sites in the small towns of Alachua County where some residents took advantage of the opportunity.

According Alachua Department of Health Administrator Paul Myers, Newberry had the most residents show up for testing last month when testing sites traveled to small towns and set up at local venues such as fire departments throughout Alachua County.

There were 90 people tested in Newberry, two in Archer, five in Hawthorne, 25 in High Springs, 41 in Alachua and five in Waldo.

But as of the end of June with record reports of positive cases in the state reaching a cumulative total of 146,341 and Alachua County now at 1,159 cases, tests are harder to schedule.

According to Myers the County DOH is “not planning on opening up more” testing opportunities anytime soon.

“We are at capacity,” Myers said. “With the frequent testing at nursing homes, onboarding educational institutions in addition to the drive through.”

What the data shows

According to the FDOH COVID-19 Dashboard as of June 29th Alachua County has reported 1,159 cases of COVID-19 with 93 hospitalizations and 12 deaths.

As reported by the Alachua County COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard, a cumulative total of 40,842 tests have been performed since April 21st.

The positivity rate started out in April at 4.15 percent and has remained below the state average so far dropping to 1.51 percent on June 8th and then climbing up to 2.84 percent as of June 29th.

Options for testing in Alachua County

The Alachua County DOH testing site operates on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Call (352) 334-8810 for an appointment. Call (352) 334-8828 for test results.

Quest and Lab Corp testing sites can perform COVID-19 tests with an employer or doctor’s order.

Visit www.CVS.com to schedule an appointment with a local CVS Pharmacy where you may be required to self-administer a swab test.

CareSpot locations through Alachua County can be contacted for an appointment.

It takes a doctor’s order based on having symptoms to get a test at the UF Springhill drive-through site now. Call your primary doctor who can line up a telemed appointment and order a test.

Contact FDOH in Bronson and Trenton

You don’t have to be a resident of the county where an FDOH testing site is located.

The Trenton Health Department office at 119 NE 1st St. in Gilchrist  County offers appointments for drive-up testing daily Monday through Friday. Call (352) 463-3120 for an appointment.

The FDOH office of Levy County is located at 66 W. Main St. in Bronson. They administer drive-up COVID-19 testing M-F starting at 9 a.m. Call (352) 463-3120 for more information, but no appointment is required. According to the receptionist you just show up at 9 a.m. 

Look for the two orange cones, enter there and line up. “We do it until the last car drives through,” they said.

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