Advertisement

Tampa Bay coronavirus test sites change hours, locations as more kits arrive

Hillsborough County received 1,000 more test kits from the state, but has not yet said when the Raymond James Stadium testing site will reopen.
 
Hillsborough County officials had to close a COVID-19 test site at Raymond James Stadium after just a few days. However, they are hoping to reopen it soon now that they've secured 1,000 additional test kits from the state.
Hillsborough County officials had to close a COVID-19 test site at Raymond James Stadium after just a few days. However, they are hoping to reopen it soon now that they've secured 1,000 additional test kits from the state. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published March 27, 2020|Updated March 27, 2020

Stories about the coronavirus pandemic are free to read as a public service at tampabay.com/coronavirus. If this coverage is important to you, consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Tampa Bay Times at tampabay.com/subscribe.

• • •

TAMPA — Drive-through testing for COVID-19 has been available in Tampa Bay for more than a week now, but where and when to go changes almost daily as supplies fluctuate.

Hillsborough County opened and closed a community testing site at Raymond James Stadium within 54 hours this week after quickly using 900 test kits provided by the state. The good news is more tests for the coronavirus are on the way.

Related: Here's where to get tested for COVID-19 in Tampa Bay

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is sending 1,000 more test kits to the county. It’s a small percentage of the 15,000 the county requested, but it will allow officials to reopen the testing site at the stadium. It’s unknown when those tests will arrive.

Meanwhile, BayCare Health Systems, which has operated anywhere from three to seven test sites across the bay area daily since March 18, is also adjusting its offerings. BayCare is closing its three remaining sites over the weekend “to align resources, including medical supplies,” the healthcare provider said in a statement Friday evening.

That means it is unlikely people will have a drive-through option for testing on Saturday. Instead, they’ll likely have to wait until Monday at the earliest when BayCare says it will reopen its sites at 9 a.m. The county has not yet said when the Raymond James will reopen.

Related: Confused about coronavirus testing? Here's what you need to know.

BayCare anticipates offering drive-through testing for at least five more days, but officials will make the decision on a day-to-day basis based on supplies and other considerations. The healthcare provider says it tested more than 5,250 people in 10 days.

Results for those who were tested have started to come back, BayCare said, but not nearly as quickly as expected.

“Originally expected to take about five days to be returned, results from private laboratories have increased several days as the volume of testing nationwide has grown,” said a statement from BayCare.

Raymond James Stadium test site

Hours: TBA; likely next week when a shipment of 1,000 test kits arrive from the state.

Location: Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

Requirements: You must call the county’s main information line at (813) 272-5900 to complete a virtual screening ahead of time. Only patients who meet certain criteria and receive a confirmation email will be authorized to go to the Raymond James site. The test is free.

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter

We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every morning.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

BayCare Health Systems drive-through test sites

Hours: 9 a.m. to noon, starting Monday.

Locations:

  • Pinellas: BayCare Urgent Care, 900 Carillon Parkway, Suite 106, St. Petersburg.
  • Pasco: BayCare Urgent Care, 4821 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.
  • Polk: BayCare Urgent Care, 36245 U.S. 27, Haines City.

Requirements: A doctor’s referral is encouraged. In order to get tested, a person must currently have a fever, a cough or shortness of breath and meet one of these additional requirements:

  • Traveled internationally or on a cruise.
  • Traveled to or from California, Washington, Oregon or New York. These are areas of widespread community transmission.
  • Had personal close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Must be 65 or older with a serious chronic health condition, such as heart disease or cancer.
  • They are considered immunocompromised.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and Tampa Bay, six days a week

ISOLATED ENTERTAINMENT: Lists of ideas to help entertain yourself and your kids at home

NEED TAKEOUT?: Here’s the Tampa Bay restaurants offering curbside pick-up or delivery

FOLLOW OUR COVERAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit.

LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.