Shorter COVID-19 test result wait times, other measures coming to Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis and state officials continue to respond to the coronavirus surge in the state, with added measures coming soon.

A shipment of Remdesivir, a drug that could possibly speed up recovery in COVID-19 patients, is expected to reach Florida hospitals next week. And antibody testing sites are expected to be available to the general public soon. DeSantis also said test results will start returning in 72 hours or less.

After these announcements by the state, we spoke to people in Collier County Thursday, who have been waiting to hear these updates.

“I’m gonna be preoccupied until I get it,” said Susan Soltero.

Soltero means her COVID-19 test results, and she could be preoccupied with it for up to a week.

“Well it’s a little bit long for me, but, you know, if that’s what it is, that’s what it is,” she said.

Soltero was one of 100 people scheduled to get a nasal swab at the free drive-through testing run by Florida Department of Health in Collier County Thursday.

Forty-thousand people have been tested for COVID-19 in Collier County. But, as the number of people getting tested grows, so do wait times.

The county department of health says, because there are only so many labs available, wait times have gone from two-three days to five day, and now up to seven days, something the governor is working to change.

“We’re going to start having dedicated lanes for symptomatic people, and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna contract with some of the companies who do the self-swab, send it in and then get a quicker turnaround time,” DeSantis said publicly. “And we believe that we probably could get that within inside of 72 hours.”

DeSantis also mentioned the most common underlying conditions they’re seeing in hospitalized co-morbid patients are obesity, diabetes and hypertension. He added most transmission happens within homes, especially multi-generational ones.

Susan Range is symptomatic, and she said she is, “tired cold symptoms, coughing.”

The wait times mean more time self-isolating for her and others in her situation. Some just hope it’s no more than seven days.

“To go through the testing and then have to wait for a very long time, it’s not really relevant information if it takes too long, said Paul Stephaen.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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