Pinellas County will begin offering no-cost COVID-19 testing to all residents for the first time, even if they are not displaying symptoms.
Last week, testing sites in Hillsborough County transitioned to allow anyone who wanted to get tested to make an appointment at a drive-through site. The health department in Pinellas County offered no-cost testing in south St. Petersburg neighborhoods last week, but this is the first time the county has widened its testing criteria to everyone.
The widening of testing comes after months of limited availability, with less than 2 percent of Florida’s population having been tested for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Some public health experts have argued that more widespread testing must be available before the country, or the state, could safety reopen. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order expired Monday, loosening restrictions on beach access and allowing some businesses, like restaurants and retailers to open under social distancing guidelines.
The free testing began Monday at three Community Health Centers of Pinellas testing sites. Residents do not need to be a patient of the facility. People can walk up or drive up to be tested and do not need to be experiencing symptoms. Testing sites are open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The testing sites are located at:
- 707 East Druid Road, Clearwater
- 7550 43rd Street North, Pinellas Park
- 1344 22nd Street South, St. Petersburg
Patients are required to fill out a condensed electronic registration and must bring a valid I.D. Residents are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 727-824-8181.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE YOU LOVE TO COVID-19?: Help us remember them
UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits
CONTRIBUTE TO THE SCRAPBOOK: Help us tell the story of life under coronavirus
BRIGHT SPOTS IN DARK TIMES: The world is hard right now, but there’s still good news out there
LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information, six days a week
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.