ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Statewide, coronavirus cases have topped 6,000, with nearly 400 of those coming out of Orange County.
- Testing continues at Orange County Convention Center
- They've tested about 1,500 people so far.
- COMPLETE COVID-19 COVERAGE: Spectrum News | CDC | Florida Dept. of Health
Starting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the testing site at the Orange County Convention Center will begin testing people under 65 years of age, as long as they have pre-existing conditions, including diabetes, cancer, or asthma, or are showing symptoms.
Officials are not asking for proof of those conditions.
"We do ask everyone to be honest. It's important that those who need to be tested are tested," said Public Information Officer Lauren Luna.
Before the criteria was that you had to be either a healthcare worker or a first responder, or you must be 65 years or older. And you have to have identification ready to show when you get in line.
If you qualify for testing by age, you must have an on-site temperature of 99.6 or higher.
Gettig to the site to be tested for coronavirus does not violate Orange County's stay-at-home order, the county assured.
Officials recommend people arrive early to the testing site to get your place in line. Luna said the testing samples are sent to Miramar, Florida. and the test results take a few days. The Florida Department of Health then calls the individual to share the results.
Organizers have tested about 1,500 people so far. Now, officials said they have enough supplies to do 250 tests a day.
Gov. DeSantis has said faster testing is needed. And now with the FDA's approval of a rapid test, he says that could be a game changer for Florida.
"Some of you may have seen the FDA approved Abbott laboratories 5-15 minute COVID-19 test. They already have a platform in many hospitals around the country and this would be something that goes in this platform. I think you get a positive result within 5 minutes and a negative result within 15 minutes. So this is as close to an instant test as we have," DeSantis said.
The governor said the test is similar to a flu test. And having that here could help to ease the burden on hospitals in the state, allowing them to better diagnose patients with coronavirus and allowing them to get those patients home and on the road to recover much faster.
The manufacturer of that rapid test is expected to start producing 50,000 of those a day starting next week.
DeSantis said he's spoken with company leaders, asking for Florida to be able to get those tests here quickly, allowing them to test even more Floridians.
The expanded testing begins Wednesday at 9 a.m.