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State nearly doubles capacity at Sarasota-Manatee drive-thru testing site


SARASOTA COUNTY (WFLA) – A state-run drive thru COVID-19 testing site opened at The Mall at University Town Center on Sunday.

A total of 924 tests were administered in the first two days, with testing hitting its capacity in less than two hours Tuesday.

It’s clear, there’s demand for testing on the Suncoast and the state recognizes that.

Starting Wednesday, testing capacity will be nearly double at the Sarasota-Manatee testing site. It will increase from 400 to up to 750 tests a day.

Governor Ron DeSantis made an appearance at the new testing site Tuesday where he announced antibody testing will soon be available at state-run testing sites.

“Antibody testing is finally here from the state. We are going to get many more coming down the line, but this 200,000 I think will be a really good start,” said Gov. DeSantis.

Gov. DeSantis explained the tests will be sent to hospitals in addition to the drive-thru testing sites across the state.

Manatee County Commission Chairman Betsy Benac stopped by UTC Tuesday. She was pleased to learn testing will be expanding as Manatee County continues to lead the bay area in COVID-19 related deaths with 59 as of the latest DOH update.

“I am really glad to hear that they are ramping it up. Obviously, people still feel the need to get tested and that way, we will understand what our real numbers are,” said Chairman Benac.

The state-run drive-thru testing site at The Mall at University Town Center is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until reaching its capacity. You do not need a prescription or appointment to be tested.


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