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Fewer people tested for COVID-19 than expected at reopened Raymond James Stadium

The community testing site reopened Wednesday after Hillsborough County received an additional 1,500 coronavirus test kits. Only 195 people came on the first day.
 
BayCare healthcare workers and staff guide vehicles at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium site on Wednesday, March 25, 2020  in Tampa.  Residents that wish to be tested had to be approved and registered online before arriving at the site.
BayCare healthcare workers and staff guide vehicles at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium site on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Tampa. Residents that wish to be tested had to be approved and registered online before arriving at the site. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published April 1, 2020

TAMPA — Nearly 200 people drove to Raymond James Stadium Wednesday to be tested for the fast-spreading coronavirus, bringing Tampa Bay’s drive-thru testing totals to more than 7,000.

But the 195 tests administered on the first day of the site’s reopening fell far below the projected 500 tests officials expected to conduct.

Hillsborough County had temporarily closed its community site at the stadium last week after quickly using up its first batch of 900 kits in three days. Wednesday was the first day the site reopened after receiving an additional 1,500 coronavirus tests from the state.

County officials said the site will remain open through Friday. They had prepared to test 500 people each day.

The county had previously said the stadium testing site would be open from 8 to 11 a.m. Wednesday through Friday. Officials were not able to confirm whether those hours or days would be extended now that medical professionals are testing at a lower rate than projected.

Local government and medical professionals continue to report a shortage of testing kits and protective gear, despite a high demand for testing.

Hillsborough County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Dudley said last week that the county put in an order with the state for 15,000 test kits. An additional 50,000 kits were requested from the University of South Florida and other healthcare facilities.

Raymond James Stadium drive-thru testing site

Hours: 8 to 11 a.m. Wednesday through Friday or until supplies run out.

Address: 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway. The site is in the parking lot south of the stadium bordered by Tom McEwen Boulevard on the north, North Dale Mabry Highway on the west and North Himes Avenue on the east. Vehicles should enter from Dale Mabry or Himes.

Requirements: You must call the Hillsborough County Customer Service Center at (813) 272-5900. Only individuals who are pre-screened, meet requirements and receive a confirmation email may be tested. People cannot just show up at the site.

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