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Pinellas rolls back rapid coronavirus tests at Tropicana site

Earlier on Tuesday, there was a two-hour-long wait for coronavirus tests.

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County suspended rapid antigen coronavirus testing at its Tropicana Field testing site at the state’s direction.

The county had began offering 15-minute rapid testing with a soft launch last week in St. Petersburg and had planned to continue Monday through Saturday. Tuesday evening, however, the county issued a news release saying the state had canceled its contract with rapid test reporting company bioIQ. Other testing sites across Florida experienced issues with bioIQ.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the county closed the Tropicana Field coronavirus testing location for the rest of the day because of a two-hour-long wait. The staff closed the site to make sure everyone in line could be tested, according to a separate release from Pinellas County.

The county said it already selected a new vendor and the suspension should be short term while that company takes over operations.

Testing sites will still offer the polymerase chain reaction tests, known as PCR tests. The results take longer but the test is considered more reliable and qualify as verification for travel restrictions and employment requirements.

The Tropicana Field site will reopen on regular schedule Wednesday at 8 a.m.

Clarification: State officials canceled the contract with the rapid coronavirus test company, bioIQ. An earlier version of this story was not clear on that point.

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