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Florida to test for COVID-19 in select Publix and Home Depot parking lots

Gov. DeSantis announced the pilot program at a Home Depot in Boca Raton.

Florida Publix and Home Depot locations will begin COVID-19 testing in their parking lots in partnership with the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the new program over the weekend while in Boca Raton, which now has a testing center set up in a Home Depot parking lot. Three Publix stores and three Home Depot stores will be part of the pilot program, according to the governor’s office.

“Our private-sector partners have been a vital component of the state’s COVID-19 response,” DeSantis said in a statement. "We know how important it is to ensure every Floridian has the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 and I’m looking forward to working with Home Depot and Publix as we expand this availability even further.”

The locations beyond Boca Raton have yet to be announced.

Related: Florida passes 2,500 coronavirus deaths and 55,000 positive cases

The Florida Division of Emergency Management will staff the walk-up test sites. Quest Diagnostics will run the tests, with results available in five to seven days.

The test sites are not intended to be used by those who are ill or beginning to show symptoms, according to the state. Rather, they’re a convenient spot to get a test for those who wonder if they could be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.

“Those looking to receive a test should locate these tented locations in the parking lot as COVID-19 testing is not available in our stores or pharmacies,” Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous said in a statement. “At this time, we have not announced the testing locations and are working with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to determine the date on which testing will begin.”

Already, 77 CVS pharmacies, nine Walgreens and nine Walmart locations have similar testing abilities set up, according to the governor.

The sites are expected to handle up to 100 tests per day.

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