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Regency testing site adjusts to handle surge in people wanting COVID rapid test

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new contractor the state hired to take over one of Jacksonville’s largest coronavirus testing sites is trying to address the demand for new, rapid tests and the long wait times that resulted.

The testing site at Regency Square added free COVID-19 antibody rapid testing earlier this week. Results are available within one hour.

Anyone who tests negative using this BinaxNOWTM COVID-19 antigen test but is symptomatic can receive a PCR COVID-19 test using a nasal swab. Those results typically take 24-48 hours.

The availability of the rapid test prompted a surge of people coming in that the Regency testing site has not seen for weeks. One day the wait reached 2½ hours.

Nomi Health, which started running the site on Tuesday, added more tent staff and stations and they have already seen significantly shorter wait times because of that.

On Wednesday, they ran about 415 tests and are expecting more in the coming days. They are encouraging people who want the rapid test to make an appointment online. When they arrive, people with appointments will be put in an express line.

The walk-up option remains open, but the wait may be longer. At mid-day Friday, there was a line down the sidewalk, but it appeared to be moving rapidly.

One person said he walked up without an appointment and was pleased he got in and out within 30 minutes.

The walk-up site at 9501 Arlington Expressway is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Online registration and appointments are available at https://testing.nomihealth.com/signup/fl.

Here’s what else you need to know:

  • No symptoms are required.
  • There is no cost to be tested.
  • Waiting takes place in your vehicle.
  • Bring photo identification.
  • Testing is available for children and adults.
  • Testing is available to anyone regardless of where you live.
  • No restrooms are available for public use.

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