74ºF

City of Jacksonville opens 1st of 3 new coronavirus testing sites

Federal COVID-19 testing sites will now be open until Friday

The new location that opened Monday was at Ed Austin Regional Park in East Arlington.
The new location that opened Monday was at Ed Austin Regional Park in East Arlington. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville opened a new COVID-19 testing site Monday and plans to open two additional sites by the end of the week. And the city’s longest-running and largest testing site -- Lot J of TIAA Bank Field -- will close at the end of Wednesday and reopen Thursday at Regency Square Mall.

The new location that opened Monday was at Ed Austin Regional Park in East Arlington. The next sites will open at Neptune beach and Mandarin.

The operations will be a good boost for Jacksonville’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mayor Lenny Curry. With the added capacity from city-operated testing, as many as 5,000 people can be tested for COVID-19 in Jacksonville every day.

Testing at Ed Austin Regional Park will happen inside the Jim Fortuna Senior Center and be open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. The beaches site will be located at the former K-Mart shopping center on Atlantic Boulevard and be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

The site at Mandarin Senior Center on Hartley Road will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The city says all three of these new sites are expected to remain open for the next six months.

Testing at the three new sites will be conducted in time slots based on people’s names and their vulnerability to the virus.

Because of these sites, three federally-run “surge” testing sites that opened last week for a short period of time and dozens of commercial testing sites now offering coronavirus testing, wait times at the existing sites such as Lot J have dropped from hours to minutes.

For an appointment at one of the federal testing sites -- Regency, First Coast High School and Frank H. Peterson Academies, which will stay open until 6 p.m. Friday -- visit DoINeedACOVID19Test.com.

On Thursday, the resources that have been offered at Lot J will move to the old Sears building at Regency. City officials say it will improve access because testing will not be depending on weather conditions, which have forced the Lot J site to close several afternoons.

Hours of operation starting Saturday for the Regency site will be announced once finalized. It will remain a drive-through and walk-in site.


About the Authors: