TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As the number of Coronavirus cases skyrocket, the demand for testing kits are following suit, but the supply isn’t meeting the demand.
For the past week, BayCare Health Services has been administering COVDID-19 tests via their drive-thru locations. BayCare is now consolidating their locations to four places; one per county:
- BayCare Urgent Care (Tampa)
- 3440 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33607
- BayCare Urgent Care (Carillon)
- 900 Carillon Parkway, Suite106, St. Petersburg, FL 33716
- BayCare Urgent Care (New Port Richey)
- 4821 U.S. Highway 19, New Port Richey, FL 34652
- BayCare Urgent Care (Haines City)
- 36245 U.S. Highway 27, Haines City, FL 33844
BayCare is also changing their hours. Each drive-thru location will now operate from 9 a.m. – noon.
However, the testing criteria has stayed the same. Patients should be referred by a physician and should have current symptoms – cough, fever, shortness of breath – and meet other criteria recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Across the country, healthcare providers are battling with an issue of lack of COVID-19 tests. Doctors are waiting on the government to pay for and send testing kits to them. However, FEMA now encourages healthcare providers to no longer wait on the government, but to take matters into their own hands.
“If you find it on the market go aHEAD and buy it, FEMA will reimburse you for it,” FEMA Administrator, Peter Gaynor said. “This is a shared responsibility, every American has a role in defeating the Coronavirus.”
So far, BayCare has screened more than 6,100 patients and collected more than 3,500 specimens that have been sent away for testing. Test results take five to seven days to return.
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