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FAMU COVID testing site lines die down, moves to text alerts

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Lines are no longer a problem at the Florida A&M University COVID-19 testing location, but health officials say they are still hitting capacity every day.

They say that’s thanks to a new texting system. Health officials on-site say it’s too hot and unsafe for people to be in long lines for hours in the sun waiting to get tested.

But the demand for testing is still high.

Now, anyone who signs up to get tested will receive a text message in order to wait in their car or to leave and come back.

The message notifies people how long the wait time is, and when they will be available to get tested. That way people can walk right in and avoid the lines.

The testing site is a partnership between FAMU and the Bond Community Health Group.

Organizers say they have increased daily capacity to 500 tests. That number is being met every day.

Associate Dean of Public Health Dr. Cynthia Harris says they're noticing many of the attendees are young people, a population among the most affected by the coronavirus.

"Between 20 and 24 for instance, are the numbers that are now the ones that we're seeing the most positivity rate, and we're starting to see those that are coming to get tested," Harris said. "We're pleased that we're seeing a lot of young people that are taking it upon themselves to get tested."

Health officials are encouraging people to continue getting tested.

Dr. Harris calls this testing location one that's for the community, meaning anyone can get tested. It is not required to have a doctor's referral or to show symptoms.

Testing is free, but the location will close once capacity is hit, which they say has been around or before 5:00 p.m. the last few days.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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