Christmas COVID infections plague Tampa testing sites

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The hottest items on this holiday turn out to be COVID testing. The omicron variant continued to escalate ahead of this year’s holiday, with health officials reporting that Florida’s infection rate has broken records well.

Melody Engle told 8 On Your Side that she spent six hours on Sunday trying to find a test site or a home test. “Everywhere I go, they are outside. I spent three hours on the phone. I tried to register on failed websites.

She traveled all the way from Tarpon Springs to stand in the long queue at the West Tampa Community Resource Center, after several attempts to find tests near her.

“For the country that has the best healthcare in the world, you are here and you can’t even know if you have COVID. It’s tragic, ”Engle said.

President Joe Biden recently announced a plan to send 50 million rapid home tests so more people can access a free option. Benjamin Sanford said he also wanted to see more county sites.

“I think it would be smart to have test sites on every corner,” he said.

Sanford added that the crowd in a Tampa center almost pushed him away. He stood in line for 40 minutes.

“It will be a lot easier to come home and wait, but I would really like to know that so that I can keep people safe,” Sanford Sanford. “This location on N Rome Avenue is the only test site in Hillsborough County.”

Despite strong public demand for the tests, the Biden administration said it will be several more weeks before the test kits are available for shipment. The administration is still working on the details of how the program works.

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