TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo say Floridians who aren’t showing symptoms of COVID-19 shouldn’t get tested unless they really need it.
“You will have people who run and get tested a couple of times a week who are not sick. And, I think that makes it more difficult for people who are symptomatic,” DeSantis told reporters during a stop in Naples on Tuesday.
The governor’s message comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Florida and high demand for testing. Some patients waited in line for more than four hours at the new Al Barnes Park testing site in Tampa Tuesday. Cars lined up early outside testing sites in Tampa Wednesday morning. Some sites have raised concerns they may run out of supplies.
State and health officials worry some people who are asymptomatic are getting tested multiple times, just for peace of mind.
DeSantis said he wants people to get tested, but only if they are immunocompromised or high-risk and truly need it. Otherwise, he says, it’s a waste of resources.
“When you have people who are healthy and they say, well, I saw it on the news and I have to run and get tested to see if I’m sick. That ends up creating more stress on our testing capacity,” DeSantis said. “Because there’s been such a rush on testing nationwide, what you find is the vast majority of people being tested do not have symptoms.”
“Live your life like you would have before COVID. We weren’t out testing, do I have the flu or do I have that. This is a new thing that’s been put in, so that’s not the posture how you should live your life, getting negative tests all the time,” DeSantis added.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has seen a high demand for tests along with a higher number of people being hospitalized with the Omicron variant.
“We’re also seeing a lot more patients get admitted to the hospital that need more critical care as well,” Dr. Allison Messina told 8 On Your Side.