Hundreds tested on 1st day of drive-thru testing at TIAA Bank Field

Mobile testing site opened Saturday in Lot J

A federally-sponsored drive-thru testing site for the coronavirus has opened in Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field, and hundreds of people were screened during the first day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of said 288 people were tested for COVID-19 on Saturday on the first day of a federally-sponsored drive-thru testing site in Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field.

It’s the third drive-thru testing site to open in Jacksonville this week but the only one that doesn’t require prequalifying with a doctor’s note. In accordance with the federal guidelines, testing at the Lot J site is for anyone 65 years or older with an on-site temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher and with respiratory symptoms.

“The testing facility does not require a doctor’s order or scheduled appointment,” Mayor Lenny Curry said during anews conference. “Clients will be evaluated by a medical professional on site. Patients who do not meet the criteria will not receive a test and will be sent home.”

“We hope we can work with our federal partners in the days ahead and at some point expand that,” Curry said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis called the turnout at Jacksonville’s first no-appointment testing site to be light.

“That may be a good sign that not a lot of people are experiencing these symptoms in Northeast Florida,” DeSantis said at a Saturday afternoon news conference.

With 65 more people tested Saturday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, more than 600 tests have been conducted in two days at city-affiliated sites, with more at the private drive-thru testing going on at Ascension St. Vincent’s. At both the convention center and St. Vincent’s sites, the driver must show a physician’s order.

First responders and health care workers who have had direct contact with patients will be tested regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms. Curry said test results will be given in three to seven days, and he said to anticipate long lines.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority had cooling buses staged for medical personnel who were at Lot J.

Public restrooms are not available at the site. A maximum of four people are allowed in a vehicle, and passengers who wish to be tested must be next to an operating window. Any additional passengers who wish to be tested must get back in line or return the following day.

American sign language and Spanish language interpreters will be on site.

If you’re being tested:

  • Bring your own pen
  • Bring photo identification
  • Refrain from taking any fever-reducing medicine four to six hours before testing
  • Health care workers and first responders need to bring work identification
  • Remain inside vehicle at all times

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