TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As COVID cases surge in Florida, so does the number of people seeking testing, which in some cases has resulted in multiple hour wait times.
Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic Gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Fried is calling on the Governor to do more to meet the rising demand.
A testing site near the State Capitol saw a steady flow of cars all day Wednesday.
Many, like Tony Lasseter and his family, are coming as a post-holiday precaution.
“We were exposed around some people at Christmas, so we just wanted to make sure that we’re all good,” said Lasseter.
Thankfully wait times are at the site were low, but in some parts of the state Floridians are having to wait hours to get tested.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried came to the site get her booster shot and encourage others to do the same.
“Certainly if you’ve got family members in nursing homes and ALFs, unfortunately those numbers are really low as far as the boosters. So encourage those nursing homes to have the vaccine boosters available,” said Fried.
She has also called on the Governor to make testing more readily available.
“To please make sure that he’s coordinating with local officials, getting the resources. We know the Department of Emergency Management has financial resources that can be deployed to our local governments. Unfortunately that’s just not being done right now,” said Fried.
She said with the President recently declaring COVID response would have to be handled by the states, it’s incumbent on state leadership to step up to the plate.
“This is on us. So let’s show this leadership, let’s step up, let’s make sure that people aren’t waiting in line for hours. Let’s get some additional testing sites located,” said Fried.
Unlike Fried, who has received all of her vaccinations in the public eye, the Governor privately received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April.
His Office said it was unable to speak on the Governor’s private medical decisions when asked if he has or plans to receive a booster.
We also asked the Governor’s Office if the Governor intends to increase testing.
We were directed to the Department of Health, but didn’t receive a response in time for this story.