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Local COVID-19 testing site forced to shut down due to overflow of cars

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 7:04 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -

In Bay County 384 people have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, 286 of those were diagnosed in the last 30 days.

Now long winding lines of cars waiting at COVID-19 testing sites are becoming familiar scenes nationally, and in Bay County. “Today we had people that were lined up as early as 5:30 this morning,” said the public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Bay County, Heather Kretzer.

The testing site at Rosenwald High School was shut down early Tuesday because of the unexpected flood of cars.

Kretzer said the early shut down “would do two things- obviously allow for the safety of people that are driving, and also to be able to give us the ability to be able to test everyone who was in line at that time.”

Just in its first two hours the site saw more than 140 people come through.

“So we definitely are seeing more cases, and it’s a combination of two things- obviously we have more testing so more testing is going to lead to more positive cases, but we’re also seeing community spread in addition to that,” said Kretzer.

Bay County’s positivity rate has also gone up. Last week it was at 9%, the week prior was at 4%.

“We are definitely keeping a close eye on that, keeping a close eye on hospitalizations, and all of those things to make sure that our hospitals can continue to support our residents and visitors and at this time they are able to do that,” said Kretzer.

The Department of Health usually hosts mobile drive-thru testing sites on Tuesdays and no appointments are necessary.

For more information on how to get tested click here.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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