1st drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Jacksonville to close next week

Medical staff prepare take a COVID-19 test from a visitor in line with a drive-through community. (Mark Baker, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first-ever drive-thru testing site for coronavirus will be shutting down on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.

The community is starting to see record lows in testing rates since March 13 when Ascension Medical Group St. Vincent’s first opened their parking lots to the public.

The hospital has conducted nearly 13,000 drive-thru tests so far. These days we are seeing fewer COVID-19 positivity rates. Fortunately, closing the drive-thru means fewer people are requiring testing services.

Testing will still be available at Ascension St. Vincent’s urgent care offices and many other government-run and commercial sites around Northeast Florida.

Since March, just over 5 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Florida and identified 669,684 people with the virus. Test performed over the last 14 days have averaged just below 5% -- under the threshold many experts say is needed for safely moving forward with reopening.