JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Regency Square Mall is one of four sites around the state operating a drive-thru self-swab testing site for symptomatic individuals.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced the news on Thursday. If the pilot program proves successful, it will expand to future sites.
Appointments are not necessary, but those going to the old Sears location of Regency Mall for the test can make an appointment through DoINeedACOVID19Test.com for convenience. Observed self-swab tests are available for those 5 years old and up who are showing symptoms.
To be more accessible and allow more testing, the Regency Square testing site has increased its hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. This allows for 14 more hours of testing a week compared to the Lot J testing site that closed down earlier this week.
According to the FDEM, the self-swabs will be monitored by a professional. The Regency site can handle up to 2,200 self-swab tests per day. Results will be sent by email and may take three to five days rather than 72 hours for the traditional test.
“At the sites, symptomatic individuals will be directed to a separate lane for testing and will be provided an observed, self-swab test under the supervision of a health care professional. At the sites, symptomatic individuals will be directed to a separate lane for testing and will be provided an observed, self-swab test under the supervision of a health care professional,” the FDEM said in a release.
The self-administered test consists of sticking a toothpick sized swab as far up into your sinus cavity as you can. The health care provider will then instruct you to swab inside for 15 seconds, and then the same thing is repeated on the other side.
Even though News4Jax consumer reporter Lauren Verno told the health professionals she had no symptoms, they allowed her to take a test.
“You’re going to go up the right nostril twirl, as far you can tolerate it,” the tester said. “You’re going to take it out, put it in your vile, put the cap on tight and put in your bag.”
“That was easier than I thought it would be,” Verno said.
In addition to Regency, self-swab sites are also launching at the Orange County Convention Center, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami-Dade County and War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale.
There is also a walk-in option at the Regency site with an air-conditioned facility. Those entering must wear face masks.