Rapid coronavirus tests to be released soon in Tampa Bay area

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – BayCare Health has received the new rapid COVID-19 tests to use for patients in Pinellas County and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. While some are concerned about its accuracy, doctors say there’s nothing to worry about.

Baycare doctors said they got the tests in on Saturday and have been testing the rapid COVID-19 tests for quality control over the past 4 days. They are confident in the accuracy of the FDA Approvel nasal swabs.

Instead of taking days or weeks to get results back like the tests at the drive through sites, hospital patients will be able to get results 5-15 minutes.

The Rapid COVID-19 tests will be available at select locations Thursday or Friday.

“We do have the equipment on-site and we’re in the final stages of validation,” said Chief Medical Officer for BayCare Health System and ER Physician, Dr. Nashant Anand. “Whenever you’re offering testing you want to make sure it’s working accurately and we’re in the final stages of that now and hope to be able to offer that rapid testing to the community relatively soon”.

The tests will not be available at drive-through testing sites because not enough have been manufacture throughout the country yet. Doctors say the tests need to go to those who are in most urgent need and at highest risk, in the hospitals.

The rapid-tests will be available in select locations around the Bay Area in the coming days including BayCare laboratories to be used for in-patients admitted to the hospital.


  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing


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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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