Gov. DeSantis works to expand COVID-19 testing for everyone

Posted at 7:53 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 05:07:15-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- One priority for the state has been to make more testing available to anyone who wants it. Now a second state-run testing site is open in the Tampa Bay area. It's the 12th state-supported testing site in Florida.

The testing site at University Town Center Mall in Sarasota is available for anyone who wants to get tested for COVID-19. The site opened on Sunday. On Tuesday, the it ran out of tests before noon.

During a press conference at UTC on Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis said the number of free tests at the site would be increasing from 400 a day to 750 tests each day.

DeSantis announced the state hit its lowest single-day percentage for positive tests, just over 2 percent of nearly 24,000 tests came back positive.

DeSantis says the state will be distributing 200,000 antibody tests to hospitals and state-run testing sites by the end of the week.

The antibody tests will give people who think they may have had the virus a chance to get tested.

"I’ve had people say, 'You know, I have a really nasty illness in late February. I went in, tested for flu and was negative. I may have had this.' Well, you can come in and get tested for antibodies, then you’ll know," said DeSantis.

DeSantis also announced a mobile testing unit that will start this week going to assisted living facilities that can run COVID-19 tests in 45 minutes.

The University Town Center Mall testing site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.