Governor wants licensed pharmacists to administer COVID-19 tests

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he wants to advance testing in the State and that includes a plan to allow pharmacists to administer COVID-19 tests.

 “It’s a rough couple of months not only for the State but the country,” he said to start the Friday briefing and acknowledged the loss of lives and the hard work of medical and frontline workers and the cooperation of residents during stay-at-home-orders.

In an effort to bring some good news to the spotlight and look forward past the pandemic, he announced that Aerion Supersonic will be establishing global headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. The aerospace company manufacturer will invest over $300 million in developing a new campus where they build the AS2 Supersonic business jet that can fly at speeds of up to 1,000 mph, DeSantis said and added that the company will create 650 news jobs with an average salary of $105,000. 

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Aerion Supersonic President and CEO Tom Vice called into the press conference and explained why his company chose Florida as the headquarter site and considered several potential sites.

Vice said Florida had “an exceptional education system and significant engineering and manufacturing talent pool.”

DeSantis welcomed Vice and then turned his focus back to COVID-19.

Testing has reached 320,000 in the State DeSantis said and added that the focus in testing continues to be aimed at protecting vulnerable groups such as long-term care facility residents.

He said 21,000 test results came in on April 23, more than some states as a whole.

The positivity rate ranges from 6 to 7 percent and there are two news labs that allow 18,000 additional samples to be processed per day.

DeSantis is focusing on point of care tests and said his next goal is to have certified licensed pharmacists to administer COVID-19 tests at pharmacies.

“Allowing licensed pharmacist expands capacity and makes it accessible to more people,” he said.

There is no reopening date set for Florida, DeSantis said.

“I’m not concerned about specific dates as much as getting it right,” he said. “We’re doing this in a thoughtful, methodical safe way.”

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