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Coronavirus Update: New Figures Show Sharp Drop Of People Being Tested Statewide

MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) - New figures obtained by CBS4 show the number of people being tested statewide for the coronavirus has dropped sharply in the past week.

CBS4'S Peter D'Oench reports that the State Health Department says on April 9th, 15,469 people were tested and on April 15th, 7,360 people were tested.

The Health Department also said while the statewide average of those testing positive is 11%, Miami-Dade's rate is 17 percent, one of the highest in the state. In Broward County, 12 percent of those being tested test positive for COVID-19.

As of April 15th, 46,227 had been tested for the Coronavirus in Miami-Dade. In Broward County, 28,013 people had been tested for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, hundreds of cars were lined before dawn Thursday as their occupants awaited testing for coronavirus at Hard Rock Stadium.

The line stretch for miles, as far as the Turnpike.

"We started at the Turnpike and the line went all the way towards the back," said "Doris" who went to the site with her friend Joanna. " We just want to be cautious and we want to be tested to find out."

Marcello Agostini told D'Oench, "I came here for my father to be tested. He is sitting right next to me and he had a fever last night. I want to check and see if he has the virus or not. My worries are that he has the virus and because he lives with my mother I worry that she could get infected so I want to make sure he does not have the virus."

Agostini, who is a real estate broker, said it would probably take him about 2 1/2 hours to get through the line for testing but he said it was worth the wait.

"It is great for us to understand the impact of the virus in our community so I am happy to come here and get the test," he said.

CBS4 spoke with Agostini and others in line through FaceTime on their iPhones because of new social distancing rules at Hard Rock Stadium in which the media was ordered not to interview those in line with their microphones and cameras.

Agostini said "We need to test as many people as we can in our community and we need to isolate as many people as we can so we don't continue to spread the virus. This is so important and everyone needs to be aware of this. This is a matter of saving lives."

He was also struck by the fact that 17% of those being tested test positive in Miami-Dade County. It is not the highest rate in the state but he is alarmed.

He said "It is a warning sign that we have to stay home. We have to stay healthy and we have to try to isolate and do social distancing."

The State Health Department said one out of 85 people in Florida had been tested for the Coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the state increased the capacity at the site from 400 to 750 tests per day.

"Seven hundred a day I don't think there is enough. It's very uncertain. I don't think with the percentage that has been tested, it is not enough for the population we have," said Joanna.

"They have to have more locations throughout the county. I doubt they'll have that," said Raymond Price.

Price said his five-year-old daughter developed a 100-degree fever overnight.

"We barely got any sleep and now for precautions, I am taking her, myself, and getting my four-year-old son tested," he said.

Price said despite the long wait, he intended to stay in line and hopefully get through the gates.

"I'll wait as long as it takes. It,s tough for my daughter, she is uncomfortable," he said.

The Hard Rock Stadium site is now testing people of any age that have symptoms. You can also get tested in our have an underlying medical condition, regardless of symptoms. People who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus can also get tested.

Health care workers and first responders can also get tested.

Those who plan to go are urged to fill their gas tanks, bring snacks, bring a picture ID, and use a restroom beforehand. Those wanting to be tested should expect a long wait.

No appointments are needed.

On Wednesday, 18 cars were left stranded without gas and people were not allowed to use the restrooms at the site once getting out of their cars.

Jorge Ramirez was one who waited in line on Wednesday.

"I have a very big family and I hang out with a lot of people. They are kind of old, so I want to make sure they don't get infected," he said.

Officials hope with more tests and PPE, they can now test more people.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist with Florida International University said, "We are doing a good job in South Florida flattening the curve."

She said they have had a lot of progress happening in terms of antivirals and early results show promise.

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