Lot J test site closed for day after morning storm

High winds in forecast prompts decision

Lot J tent blew over during Monday morning storms, delaying the opening of testing.
Lot J tent blew over during Monday morning storms, delaying the opening of testing. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a storm front blew over a tent at the Lot J testing site at TIAA Bank on Monday morning and more wind in the forecast, the state decided to keep the site closed for the day.

A wind gust blew a tent used for staff -- not for testing itself -- into a tree. Crews were resetting the tent but decided to keep the site closed until the high winds are passed.

Lot J, which has been open for several weeks as a COVID-19 regional testing site, was closed for part of three days last week due to heavy weather.

The Lot J site is now run by the state Department of Emergency Management with the support of the Florida National Guard rather than the federal government is scheduled to be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, or when they’ve tested 750 people, whichever comes first.

Many of the soldiers at the site are trained medical professionals: paramedics, doctors and nurses. About 60 are on duty at Lot J per day. Their presence helps lower the number of police officers and firefighters needed for the essential service.

Testing at the Lot J site is open to people of all ages who have respiratory symptoms of the coronavirus, as well as health care workers and first responders who have had direct contact with confirmed cases.

Testing by appointment with Telehealth continues available at the Prime Osborn Convention Center site opened 30 minutes late due to the morning’s heavy weather. It normally opens at 11 a.m. and runs through 7 p.m.

UF Health will be conducting a new round of testing this week at its Brentwood Family Health site.

RESOURCE: Information about all testing sites in Northeast Florida

The return of test results varies from 24 hours at hospitals to over 10 days at drive-through test sites.

Fewer than 6% of tests taken at the Jacksonville sites are coming back positive, trending below other metro Florida areas.

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