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Testing sites open. Photo via CBS News

New testing site opens in Charlotte County as COVID-19 cases rise across the state

Florida is seeing an increase in positive cases of the coronavirus, and in Charlotte County specifically, the Florida Department of Health is reporting 535 people have tested positive so far and 73 have died.

In response to the rise in cases, another testing site is opening up at the Cooper Street Recreation Center in Punta Gorda.

While it has become much easier for anyone to get tested without having a doctor’s note, it may not be the only reason for the increase in cases.

The goal is to stay below 10 percent when it comes to positive test results and according to data provided by the DOH, the average of positive tests between Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties is 7.7 percent.

Robert Hawkes, Florida Gulf Coast University’s director of the physician assistant program, said now is not the time to let your guard down when it comes to social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and wearing a mask.

“We’re definitely starting to see that increase. While some of it again may be related to testing, I think the fact is that as we start to open we are going to have more. As we’re seeing more of the various protesting and demonstrations, that’s inevitably going to affect the spread of COVID-19, so I think a combination of all these things, we’re going to start to see the numbers increase,” Hawkes said.

Hawkes said that until there’s a vaccine, there will be a chance we maintain the numbers we’re seeing now or even see a second spike around the fall season.

If you would like to schedule an appointment to get tested at the new testing site click here.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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