COVID-19 testing expands in Broward and Miami-Dade counties

Broward County expects to nearly double its number of testing sites in the coming weeks.

As the state keeps setting records for daily new case reports, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are opening new government-run COVID-19 testing sites and expanding capacity at existing testing sites as crushing crowds turned getting a test into an endurance test.

Both counties are also giving out take-home test kits, although Broward County reported Thursday that test kits at five of the nine distribution points, county libraries, had run out not long after distribution started.

Broward County Mayor Michael Udine said the county will soon have more testing capacity than it did at the previous height of the pandemic. In addition to the 11 existing sites the county is overseeing, Broward County will have at least seven new sites open in the coming weeks to handle the crush of people affected in the latest surge of cases believed to be the result of the new, highly contagious omicron variant. Three new sites were announced Thursday in Coconut Creek, Davie and Lauderhill.

“Our county team has been working nonstop with our state and local partners to open more testing sites and we continue to do so,” Udine said. “We have requested take-home tests from the state and continue to do what we can to increase testing options.”

Miami-Dade, meanwhile, announced two new sites on Tuesday and another site on Thursday as the demand for testing has escalated. The new one is at the Interstate 75 Park & Ride testing, located at I-75 and NW 186 Street in Hialeah, FL 33018.

County officials are urging people to avoid these sites: Tropical Park, South Dade Government Center, Zoo Miami, Aventura Mall, Miami Beach 17th St Garage and Dolphin Mall. All the sites can be found on the county’s COVID-19 testing site finder as well as updates about holiday hours.

In Broward County, a new test collection site will be added Monday at Mullins Park, at 1000 Ben Geiger Drive in Coral Springs. Tree Tops Park, 3900 SW 100th Ave., in Davie will be opening Jan. 5. Tradewinds Park, 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek, will be opening Jan. 10. And Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, is opening Jan. 11.

New testing tents will be added Thursday at Markham Park at 16001 W. State Road 84 in Sunrise, where David G. Smith reported waiting for five hours and 59 minutes to get tested on Monday.

“It was excruciating,” the Davie resident said of the wait that emptied his tank by almost one-quarter.

The line of cars to get tested spilled out onto State Road 84 on Monday, and Smith, who runs an offset printing press, thought the tents were right at the entrance, but soon realized the line snaked through the roads that curve all the way through the park before leading to the tents.

Still, he had to know his status, he said.

“There are so many people in our orbit coming down with this,” he said.

Many testing sites will be shutting down on Friday and Saturday in observance of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The new testing expansion is the result of Broward County government personnel teaming up with the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, Broward Sheriff’s Office, municipalities, municipal law enforcement and emergency medical service and fire rescue teams throughout the county.

Additional community sites will be updated on the Broward County’s page for testing updates.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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    December 29, 2021 at 5:02 pm

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    (An interesting side note – in this statement we see Trump catching himself being a pathological liar and correcting it before the plain lie destroyed any credibility he still had left)

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