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Miami’s elderly, ill can get coronavirus test result in 15 minutes

Gov. DeSantis said the sites will administer 1,250 of the 15-minute tests per day.
A National Guard troop directs cars as a citizens is being tested by a healthcare workers at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens as the coronavirus pandemic continues on Sunday, July 19, 2020. DAVID SANTIAGO DSANTIAGO@MIAMIHERALD.COM
A National Guard troop directs cars as a citizens is being tested by a healthcare workers at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens as the coronavirus pandemic continues on Sunday, July 19, 2020. DAVID SANTIAGO DSANTIAGO@MIAMIHERALD.COM [ DAVID SANTIAGO | Miami Herald ]
Published Aug. 3, 2020

FORT LAUDERDALE — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that starting Tuesday, state-run COVID-19 test sites at Marlins Stadium in Miami and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens will offer 15-minute tests for people 65 and older as well as for people who have coronavirus symptoms.

“We want to address the remaining challenges — the turnaround time for testing,” DeSantis said at a press conference at Broward Health’s corporate office in Fort Lauderdale on Monday afternoon.

DeSantis, joined by Department of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, said the sites will administer 1,250 of the 15-minute tests per day. The tests — which measure a protein called an antigen that signals an immune response to the virus — first hit the market in May.

Both sites will use an antigen test called “Sofia SARS Antigen FIA” manufactured by the Quidel Corporation of Ohio, Moskowitz told the Miami Herald last week. It’s one of two antigen tests for COVID-19 approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

An early summer wave of people seeking the tests caused two-week result delays across the state. The delays have made results largely meaningless and has inhibited the state Department of Health’s efforts to trace and isolate the contacts of the thousands of Floridians testing positive daily.

Florida’s Department of Health on Monday confirmed a total of 4,752 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s known total to 491,884. There were also 73 Florida resident deaths announced, bringing the statewide resident death toll to 7,157. Monday’s daily total of newly confirmed cases is the lowest since 3,289 cases were reported on June 23, but that could be because many testing sites on the east coast closed late last week due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaias.

“These are encouraging trends, obviously there is a lot more work to do,” DeSantis said. “If you are symptomatic and don’t get your results back for seven days, that is not helpful.”

Broward County reported 556 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday and three new deaths, bringing the county total to 58,531 total cases and 748 deaths.

Miami-Dade County reported 954 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths Monday, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 123,644 confirmed cases and 1,694 deaths.

Miami Herald staff writers Daniel Chang, Ben Conarck and Michelle Marchante contributed to this report.

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