MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Florida quadrupled its number of COVID cases, last week, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. County health departments are adjusting to handle the influx in testing.
Manatee County announced its decision to keep coronavirus testing at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, setting aside previous plans to move the testing site elsewhere.
"When testing demand goes up, the positivity rate goes up, and we want to prepare for another wave. Mantee County has decided to keep our COVID-19 testing site at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, because the demand is so high, right now."
"I've been watching the line grow for the past couple of weeks," Sheri Henderson said as she waited in line to be tested at the convention center. "There for a while it was one or two people here and then it was 10, 20, and then here recently it’s been at least 100."
More testing is turning in more positive results. The Florida Department of Health recorded 824 new COVID cases in Manatee County, last week.
"Ugh, it's so frustrating," Paulette Constantino said as she waited in line alongside Henderson.
Many feel COVID-like symptoms after family time over the holiday. Others stood in line, Tuesday, just to make sure they did not catch COVID during their Christmas gatherings.
"I feel fine, I just thought it would be a good time," Kevin Ruch said. "Like you say there’s the spike so here I am.”
Henderson and Constantino just hope they are not two of the known hundreds now saddled with omicron in Manatee County. A vacation to the Caribbean depends on it.
“We’re just praying it’s negative so we can get on that cruise ship," Constantino said.
You can view a breakdown of the state's latest COVID-19 report on the Florida Department of Health's website.