Demand for COVID testing increases as COVID surges in Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County opened a third COVID testing location Monday due to increasing demand but had to close the site early.

The testing site on the Brandon Campus of Hillsborough Community College opened at 9 a.m., but demand was so high that it was shut down at 2:20 p.m. when the wait time exceeded three hours.

John Bland said he decided to get tested when he woke up not feeling well.

“My roommate tested positive,” Bland said. “he had to go to the hospital, he had to get admitted. So, I’ve got some of the symptoms, chest and cough. So, I figured I’d go get checked out.”

Mike Wormer decided to get tested, when he started having the classic symptoms of COVID.

“Coughing, sneezing, congestion, chills, can’t taste, smell,” Wormer said.

He drove for miles to come to the Brandon test site.

“I live in Zephyrhills, and this was the closest one,” Wormer said.

As cases of COVID have surged with the omicron variant, it has become increasingly difficult to get a testing appointment at many local pharmacies, and many people said it’s become virtually impossible to purchase an at-home test kit.

Hillsborough County said they may open a fourth testing location if demand continues to surge.

“We’re telling people that we still want them to get tested if that need is there, if they’re worried about being positive or they feel like they’ve been exposed, but we are warning folks that there is probably going to be a wait,” said Katja Miller with Hillsborough County.

Monday, the testing location at Progress Village reported testing 1,600 people. The testing location in West Tampa reported administering tests to 1,600 people, and the new testing location at H.C.C. In Brandon tested more than 1,300 people.

Each location will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. as long as the demand is there.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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