JACKSONVILLE, Fla- – State-run coronavirus testing sites are expanding locations to include priority lanes for people showing symptoms of COVID-19 and elderly people and kids.
The testing site at Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville is one of the several sites subject to the changes.
In priority lanes, patients will be able to use self-swab tests, though the Regency site was offering self-swab tests as early as last month. Healthcare workers will supervise when a patient does the test.
Results are supposed to be returned within 72 hours.
The creation of priority lane testing across the state is an intentional effort by officials to shorten result wait times and increase overall testing.
In addition to testing for an active COVID-19 case, officials are also trying to ascertain who has previously had COVID-19. For this, all state-run sites are now to include antibody testing.
Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibody tests were already available at the Regency site.
Several coronavirus testing sites were closed for a couple of days as Tropical Storm Isaias passed through Northeast Florida, including the Regency site. Officials were cognizant that its first day back open on Tuesday might bring a large influx of people.
According to the Florida Association of Public Information Officers, 837 active swab tests and 62 antibody tests were conducted at the Regency testing site on Tuesday.
While the priorities for testing are shifting to accommodate vulnerable populations and people already showing symptoms, state officials say anyone wanting to be tested for COVID-19, can and should be.
Appointments are encouraged symptomatic or not. You can schedule one at DoINeedACOVIDTest.com