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Hillsborough opens 2 new coronavirus test sites

The locations are intended to meet a surge in demand for the diagnostic tests.
 
Cars line up outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in June.
Cars line up outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in June. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Dec. 7, 2020

TAMPA — Hillsborough County is opening two new locations for drive-through testing for the coronavirus.

Testing at the Vance Vogel Sports Complex, 13012 Bullfrog Creek, Riverview, began today. On Wednesday, tests also will be available at the William Owen Pass Sports Complex, 1300 Sydney Dover Road , Dover

Testing is by appointment. Residents must register in advance by going to HCFLGov.net/COVIDTesting. Or to make an appointment by phone, call (888) 513-6321 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The county will use its mobile testing units to provide up to 500 tests daily at the two sites, each of which will operate three days per week.

“This gives us 3,00 tests a week as we address this surge,’' Timothy Dudley, the county’s emergency management director, told commissioners last week.

The county also increased the operating hours at Lee Davis Neighborhood Services Center on 22nd Street in Tampa. It now has tests Monday through Thursday, Dudley said. The largest site, at Raymond James Stadium, operates Tuesday through Saturday. Both of those sites are on a first-come, first-served basis with appointments not required.

The expanded hours and locations come as the public test site at the Suncoast Community Health Care Center in Brandon prepares to transition back to its normal operations, Dudley said.

Hillsborough County said it is opening additional locations to meet increased demand. County officials previously closed several testing locations as public demand began to wane in September. Interest picked up in November with the approach of the Thanksgiving holiday and a rise in new COVID-19 cases.

The county and private providers administered an average of nearly 33,000 tests during the last two weeks of November. The county covers about 22 percent of that demand and, as of last week, nearly 150,000 tests had been administered at Hillsborough’s public test sites since the pandemic began. .

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