ST. PETERSBURG — You’ll have another free coronavirus testing option in Tampa Bay when a site opens Wednesday at the Duke Energy for the Arts Mahaffey Theater.
County officials are hoping the drive-thru site will provide some relief for the growing backlog in coronavirus testing. Many people are experiencing long lines, week-long waits for appointments and turnaround times to get results that range from five to 12 days later.
Testing will take place in the Mahaffey Theater parking garage and patients will remain in their cars. The site is a partnership between the county and state, similar to the test site at Raymond James Stadium. Department of Health Pinellas, the city of St. Petersburg and the county Sheriff’s Office are also assisting.
This is one of the first test sites in the area to offer evening and weekend hours. Testing will take place 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
You need not be a Pinellas resident to get tested and no insurance information is necessary. Identification and a phone number will be requested.
No appointments are being taken. Testing will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
A recently opened site at Tropicana Field saw high demand in its first two days with capacity reached at 8 a.m. Demand eased later in the week and patients reported little-to-no-wait Thursday morning.
The Trop site, run by BayCare Health, asks people if they are experiencing symptoms or meet other requirements for testing. The drive-thru site at the Mahaffey will not require that people show symptoms.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.
LATEST ON CORONAVIRUS: Six things we’ve learned about the coronavirus since March.
MASK UPDATE: Find out where you have to wear a mask in Tampa Bay
FILING TAXES?: What to know about the July 15 tax deadline
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
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.