MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The Miami-Dade County Auditorium is one of five new drive-thru testing sites in South Florida because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.
"This is not done in the traditional testing system. So, this will have faster turnaround times and will also relieve some of the burden in some of the larger commercial labs," Adm. Brett Giroir told CBS4 News Friday.
The Admiral is on the White House COVID-19 Task Force and serves as the coronavirus testing czar. He told CBS4 people testing at these five federally funded, "surge testing sites" should have their results, at least, three to four days after a swab.
"We really want to test 40, 50, 60,000 individuals very rapidly to assist the local health department and the state," he said.
The new drive-thru testing site locations are:
- Dillard High School, 2501 NW 11th Street, Fort Lauderdale
- Blanche Ely High School, 1201 NW 6th Avenue, Pompano Beach
- MacArthur High School, 6501 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
- Miami Jackson High School, 1751 NW 36th Street, Miami
- Miami-Dade Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler Street, Miami
The site at Miami Jackson High School will open Saturday following a delay on Friday caused by flooding and standing water.
Each one will start swabs at 8 in the morning until 6 at night. People age five and older, regardless of symptoms, can be tested. But the new sites are only temporary and scheduled to close Sunday, August 2nd. You may want to make an appointment to be in and out.
"If you're registered, the average wait time is about 15 minutes," testing site spokesperson Marcos Osorio said.
Leaders have been hearing complaints about a backlog in testing at most current sites. The testing czar says the average turnaround time nationally after being tested is 4 to 7 days.
"That's still too high. Some states are higher and some states are lower," the Admiral said.
The Admiral says he's working to help labs get better technology that'll allow four samples for each test, increase capacity at labs, and he wants to see more surge testing, like the new sites in South Florida.
He told CBS4 News the federal government will send rapid tests to nursing homes so they can have results within minutes.
"We are going to continue adding testing sites here in Miami-Dade. We also want to add testing sites that go into the night," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
As for the testing czar, he says wear a face covering in public to help numbers go down and he encourages families to take advantage of the free surge testing sites.
"The kids may not get sick but grandma and grandpa might. If you live in a multi-generational household, it's very important to get yourself tested," he told CBS4 News.
To make an appointment at any of these sites, go to: www.DoINeedACovid19Test.com
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