CW44 News At 10

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (CW44 News At 10) – A drive-thru, community-based COVID-19 testing site opened Wednesday, July 8, at 11 a.m. at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater Parking Garage.

“We’re proud to have partnered with state and local governments and healthcare agencies to open this new COVID-19 testing site in downtown Saint Petersburg,” said Charlie Justice, Pinellas County Commissioner. “You’ll need to bring identification, the staff has a great set up here. You go through, you register, you come get the test.”

Regardless of symptoms and with no appointment needed, Commissioner Justice explains that tests will be administered at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete. You must be inside your vehicle with direct window access, limiting tests to four tests per car. County officials are hoping the new Mahaffey site will cause some relief after excess Covid-19 testing across the bay.

“There were folks out here very early, 4:30, 5 o’clock this morning. It tells you there is a demand, people are concerned, they want the information,” said Commissioner Justice.

Last week, just one hour after the Tropicana site opened for testing, supplies ran out and citizens had to return the next day after waiting in line. Commissioner Justice says he expects this site’s supply to meet the demand.
“We have a significant number of tests I think it’s over twelve hundred per day. We’ve actually seen at the Tropicana site where we didn’t test everyone that was available so we had services available that people kind of gave up early in the day so this is a massive site more staffing, more tests available, we want people to come take advantage of it, it’s really important. Hopefully the supply will meet the demand,” said Commissioner Justice.
Given their knowledge of other testing site routines, they’re breaking down info to you from afar. If you visit Healthy Pinellas via Twitter, testing site officials are providing up to date info you need before showing up.

“The staff has really worked hard, this is not just something they set up yesterday. And as you see today the multitude and multitude of County staff that are working every day to make the site available,” said Commissioner Justice.

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But the Mahaffey site isn’t where it stops…

“We are working with BayCare and other providers to have other sites throughout the county, but obviously if you look at the map this is a concern in this area so we wanted to have the site available,” said Commissioner Justice.

However, after reviewing local data, it’s something he plans to keep an eye on.

“Certainly the numbers are concerning and people want to have access to that information for themselves and their families. We saw a significant spike in numbers in South East Pinellas County,” said Commissioner Justice.

More information about what to expect when coming to the site can be found at bit.ly/31TBCHP. Testing will take place Tuesday through Saturday each week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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