CenturyLink COVID-19 testing site opens, runs out of tests before noon first day

A free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opened Monday at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Lee County near Daniels Parkway and Six Mile Cypress Parkway.

If you want to get tested, all you need to do is pull up in your car and follow their instructions.

You don’t need an appointment or a doctor’s note, and you don’t even need to be showing any symptoms.

They can do up to 400 viral tests a day. And, if your results come back positive, typically within a few days, the Florida Department of Health will contact you.

They also have a team dedicated to coronavirus contact tracing.

That team will interview people who test positive to figure out who else might have been exposed. Not only does the test give you answers but it also helps the county keep an eye on the numbers and make informed decisions as places start to open back up.

Rep. Dane Eagle said they plan to keep this testing site open for the foreseeable future.

“Look, we’re watching the trends every single day; the governor has been very strong about that,” Eagle said. “The data is what is going to drive our response, and this is going to help us produce more data so that we can have a more accurate response.”

There’s no charge if you want to get tested, and the testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The sheriff’s office and National Guard will be patrolling there as well.

Although the site is supposed to have regular hours through the evening, it reached its 400-test capacity by noon Monday.

We spoke to people waiting in line for testing who explained why it was important for them to get checked for COVID-19.

“For my own safety,” Revonda Gerdich said. “I have underlying health conditions; I have COPD. So, just for my own safety, I need to know am I OK.”

In the hours-long line, inside every car was an individual with a reason for being tested at the new site.

“I just feel, as a person that lives in Lee County, I’d like to know if he’s special needs,” Kathy Sampson said.

“We want to go see my mother,” Karen Ramos said. “My mother lives upstate, so we wanna go visit her and make sure she’s OK because she’s already dealing with lung cancer … I would feel confident that I could go up and see her and not pass anything to her.”

“None of my kids can come visit me,” Deborah LaBonne said. “I have five kids. Because it’s too high risk for them to do it and my grandkids are young as well, so they can’t come visit me…I wanna give em bit hug and kiss, but it’s just not safe for them.”

“[Because] I miss everybody. I miss my grandson,” Terrylyn Dehal said. “You miss that time with them when you can’t see them.”

“It’s scary; it’s scary,” Gerditch said. “I’ve taken all the protocol I’m supposed to take when you go out and about, but still. You never know. You never know.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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