PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida is sending out up to one million COVID-19 tests to nursing homes and Governor Ron Desantis says young, asymptomatic people should stop getting tested and leave the tests for the elderly.
“If you’re just young and healthy you don’t need to be running out getting tested every day,” Gov. Desantis said Thursday during a news conference.
The demand is high for a COVID-19 test these days as we see a surge in new daily cases.
“You’re seeing it spread way quicker than you’ve ever seen,” Desantis said.
Many stores have run out of the at-home rapid tests. Desantis said the state of Florida has one million of them but they’re only for seniors.
“What we’re going to start by doing is sending them to our nursing homes and our long-term care facilities and beyond that, we’ll focus on senior-heavy communities,” he said.
Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said all 700 nursing homes and 3,000 assisted living facilities will get some but a million of them are not going out all at one time. The first shipments will likely arrive this weekend, he said.
“It’s going to be symptom-based testing,” Guthrie said. “High-value testing. Everybody in the facility is not going to get a test right off the bat. We’re going to do sensible-based approach testing for those long-term care facilities then the re-order process will be completely online. We’ve already got that portal set up.”
If you can’t find a test, drive-thru testing is starting back with no appointment needed across from the health department in Pensacola. Sacred Heart is also testing on Bayou Boulevard with results within 48 hours.