ORLANDO, Fla. — As cases go up across Central Florida and the state, the demand for testing continues to be high.
That means another busy day of testing at the Orange County Convention Center.
A line of cars began lining up outside the OCCC at 5 a.m. Sunday off Destination Parkway and wrapped around onto Universal Boulevard.
The site opened at 9 a.m, and because the site was shut down for the holiday yesterday, there has been a large numbers of people coming out to get tested Sunday.
The long lines at the site are becoming common as people wait hours in line for a free coronavirus and antibody test. And just as the state is setting high, often record-setting numbers of new coronavirus tests, the site here is reaching high levels of capacity, too.
On Friday, site leaders say they tested 1,889 people here. That’s far more than the initial 250 tests they could give when the site here opened up mid-March.
So far, they’ve tested more than 55,000 people here at the convention center. Statewide, upwards of 2.1-million people have been tested.
The test is free and open to those 18 and older.
You must bring an ID with you and make sure you come prepared to wait: Make sure you’ve got working AC in your car and a full tank of gas.
Waiting for Results
Every day, people wait hours in their cars for the moment they’re called up to get a coronavirus test. But Maria Boden says that time in line was nothing compared to how long she had to wait to get her result.
She went to the Orange County Convention Center to get tested on June 20.
“The people that were working the testing site at the convention center had said you’ll get your results back within a few days," Boden said.
It wasn't until 12 days later, on July 2, when she found out she tested positive.
“There has to be something done," she said, "Because what’s the point of getting tested if you’re not going to get your results within 3-5 to maybe even 7 days?”
She’s been at home the whole time, quarantined. Now Boden waits for her second scheduled test, which she hopes comes back negative.
Still, she says it could be worse.
“I’m in a fortunate situation with my job where I’m able to work remotely … so I am blessed," Boden said. "But there are a lot of people that are not in that situation.”
While hundreds continue to line up for a test to get closure, some wonder what comes next if the result reads positive.
The Florida Department of Health says per CDC guidance, your self-quarantine can end if it’s been 10 days since you had a symptom, you’ve gone at least 3 days fever free, and your respiratory symptoms have improved.
Even then, health officials still urge people who’ve tested positive for coronavirus recently to be cautious and still wear a mask when out in public. Even if all of those criteria are met, there’s a chance you could still be contagious.
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