ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Demand for coronavirus testing is increasing across Central Florida.


What You Need To Know

  • Upcoming holiday season driving COVID-19 testing demand

  • CDC advises you not to travel or gather in groups

  • Orange County is offering weekend testing to help with demand


Testing administrators say the availability of the rapid test, rising cases and the upcoming holidays are driving that demand.

Luisa Rodriguez-Scott isn’t holding a big gathering for Thanksgiving, but she is looking forward to spending time with some of her family.

“I am going to gather with my daughter next week,” she said.

But only if she’s sure she doesn’t have the coronavirus.

To ensure that, she waited in a long line of cars on Friday afternoon at Barnett Park, where Orange County is now offering free coronavirus testing seven days a week.

The county recently opened up testing on weekends due to increased demand.

They also just recently offered rapid testing at this site, something Steffanie Recine is taking advantage of before she heads down to Miami to visit her family for the holiday.

“I have people at risk at home, so I just wanted to make sure I was fine,” said Recine.

A spokesperson for testing for the state says the regional testing site at the Orange County Convention Center has also seen a dramatic increase in people coming to get tested recently.

While the site was seeing just about 500 people a day a few weeks ago, they’re now seeing about 1500 people a day.

Many testing administrators had to cut off testing by 3 p.m. on Thursday because the site had reached its testing capacity for the day.

Rodriguez-Scott says she doesn’t have any symptoms, but she wants the peace of mind of knowing she’s good to go to safely spend time with family.

“I expect to test negative, yes, and it will be wonderful just to be sure,” said Rodriguez-Scott. 

Scott says if she tests positive, she won’t be meeting up with any family for Thanksgiving.

The CDC recommends people do not travel this Thanksgiving or gather in large groups so that the spread of COVID-19 can be prevented.

You can find your closest Orange County testing site here.