FOX 13 News, TAMPA, Fla. – Mask mandates are coming back in a few Florida cities and some hospitals are starting to re-enact restrictions as coronavirus cases soar across the Sunshine State.
According to the CDC, Florida currently leads the country in new infections, accounting for about one-in-five new cases in the U.S. Over the last month, Florida went from one of the lowest sites of community transmission to the highest in the country.
Florida is now reporting high levels of community transmission in every county, save for Glades County. [Glades County is located on the western shore of Lake Okeechobee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,884, making it the fourth-least populous county in Florida.]
Since July 1, new cases have nearly quadrupled in our state, and are at their highest level since mid-January. Some hospitals are struggling to keep up with the influx of sick people. Epidemiologists say hospitalizations are increasing at a faster rate than at any point in the pandemic.
“What we’re seeing is an explosive increase in the number of the people who are getting hospitalized again … ” READ MORE.
With COVID-19 cases rising, rush on to get tested
More people in line for test than to get a vaccination
NEWS4JAX, JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The line to get a COVID-19 test Tuesday at the Florida Health Department’s Duval Central Health Plaza in Springfield stretched around the building — far longer than the line nearby to get a vaccination.
People waited for hours are told that they only need to be tested if they are unvaccinated or showing symptoms, and it will take one to three days to get the results.
Free walk-up testing at the office at 515 West 6th Street is available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free testing is also available at the health department locations in most Florida counties.
“This is ridiculous,” said Joan Borhon as she waited to get tested. “Look at the line. Why doesn’t our government in Florida, because we live in Florida, open other stuff?”
“This is the most unorganized testing,” Paula Blackburn said, “People are passing out.”
Health Department officials said the line was not the result of a lack of tests or staff, but a slow registration process.
“Our system is electronic and we have to register each individual client,” said Tawanda Washington, assistant director of nursing.
Other options to get tested
- Agape Family Health’s office at 5460 Blanding Blvd. from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and at its location at 1680 Dunn Ave. from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
- Most CVS and Walgreens pharmacies also offer COVID-19 testing by appointment. Insurance or the federal government will be billed.
- Avecina Medical offers COVID-19 testing at its three locations: Julington Creek, Oakleaf Town Center and Tinseltown. Insurance will be billed if it is determined medical necessity. Otherwise, the self-pay fee is $125.
- Curative is offering tests at a mobile site in the parking lot of HavanaJAX on Atlantic Boulevard. Proof of insurance is required … READ MORE.