State sending help to Raymond James testing site; 1,000 people to be tested a day for COVID-19

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Just one day after 8 On Your Side pressed county and state officials about the testing dilemma in Hillsborough County, the state is stepping in.

The testing site at Raymond James Stadium has had to shut down early at times. Too much demand, not enough workers to administer tests. That is set to change when the state sends medical workers to fill the need.

“People are sick, and this is Florida. Florida is only getting worse,” said Amy Robart.

She just wants to get tested for COVID-19. As the positive cases continue to rise at record breaking levles she wants to make sure she doesn’t have the virus before leaving to visit family in Michigan.

“Here we are down here in Florida and we’re quarantining ourselves because we’re afraid to go out among all the people. It’s crazy down here,” said Robart.

She called the number provided by the county to make an appointment. After hours on the phone on hold she finally got someone who told her they were closed. Good-bye.

“I said, are you kidding me? I got a little bit upset with her after being on the phone for so long. I said, all I want to do is make an appointment,” said Robart.

Two more days on the phone; she finally got her appointment. She’s one of the thousands of people frustrated with trying to find a place to get tested. At the Emergency Policy Group meeting on Thursday, Hillsborough County leaders learned the state will be providing medical personal to the testing site at Raymond James Stadium.

“We’re expanding capacity at our existing sites. We will support the Pinellas County test, and if they need to do more at Raymond James, we’re happy to do that,” said Governor Ron Desantis in Florida Thursday.

“I’ll believe it when I see it. I really do. After what I’ve seen with the unemployment, I will believe it when I see it. The state is a mess right now,” exclaimed Robart.

With the help of medical personnel from the state, the site at Raymond James will be open five days a week and will be able to test 1,000 people a day, 5 days a week.

There’s also a new phone number (888) 513-6321 and an online form to make reservation.

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