MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The coronavirus testing site at Hard Rock Stadium has already reached capacity for the day after the state expanded its testing criteria.
Monday was the first day that the drive-through testing site at Hard Rock Stadium is allowing testing for anyone showing symptoms or who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has underlying conditions and no appointment is needed.READ MORE: 2 Hospitalized Following Shooting On Turnpike
However, cars started lining up pretty early Monday and by 11:00 a.m., officials said the site had reached its capacity for the day.
People CBS4 spoke to said, this should have been done sooner.
“I’m 61 and I just started with my symptoms not too long ago and I haven’t been able to get tested before this,” said Eliana.
“I don’t think it is fair to the public. Only testing such a small percentage of people. We are all still at risk,” said Remi Davis
Angela Mohamed, who was one of those patiently waiting in line said this second examination was crucial to her. After testing positive for COVID-19, she was quarantined at home for more than 3 weeks.
“I went through very hard times but thank God,” said Mohamed. “This has been very hard for me. This has been so hard. Thank God that I was at home. I now feel very good about this and I am fighting this. I wish everybody can do it. If I can do it can they. We have to have faith and pray not just because we have had hard times but I think we need to come together and pray and say thank you because we are still alive.”
Mohamed is now in hopes, of testing negative for the virus.
“I should be thankful all the time.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement on Friday saying, “Anybody that has coronavirus symptoms, regardless of age can come and get tested. All first responders and healthcare workers can get tested and then anybody who has had close sustained contact with an individual that has recently tested positive for COVID-19 may get tested even if you personally haven’t developed symptoms.”
Prior to the change, only people 65 and older, first responders and health care workers could get tested at the Hard Rock Stadium site and two similar sites in Jacksonville and Orlando.
The Hard Rock Stadium site was originally set up as a partnership between the feds and the tate but the State took over as of April 10.
Previously, it conducted a maximum of 250 tests a day but increased that number to 400.
So far, this site has processed 11,000 tests and it will continue testing until the Governor tells them to stop.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Enjoy Cooler Temps, Warmer Trend On The Way
The Hard Rock Stadium site is open to people from Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe.
The test results from the state department of health should be available within 5 days.
Those bringing a child must be a parent or a legal guardian with paperwork. Those being tested have to have a valid photo with a proper ID.
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The type of test is also changing from a nasal swab to a throat swab, making it an easier test, especially for children.
The wait time for results is expected to be from 3 to 5 days. The Florida Department of Health will be handling the results.
Officials also say that anyone from Miami-Dade, Broward or Monroe Counties can get tested at the Hard Rock Stadium site.
On Monday, DeSantis pushed back against some of the criticism about a lack of testing in Florida. He called testing in Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach “aggressive.”
“It ends up being about one test for every 85 residents of those three southeastern Florida counties,” DeSantis said, adding that that is a better number than the “gold standard” of testing in South Korea.
DeSantis also said he’s creating 10 strike teams of four people each to focus on COVID-19 testing at nursing homes and assisted living facilities “to significantly ramp up testing in long-term care facilities.”
DeSantis said these types of teams have already tested hundreds of residents in South Florida long-term care facilities and now they’re going a step further.
“They will begin their mission in the counties that are being most affected by Covid-19, so primarily in southeast Florida,” he said.
CBS4 News asked the governor’s office on Monday afternoon if they plan to add to the 400 test capacity at Hard Rock Stadium. We are awaiting a response.
Also, beginning on Tuesday, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue will conduct COVID-19 tests at the homes of senior citizens and disabled persons over the age of 18 who are symptomatic and unable to drive to a testing site. The program is being run throughout the county, except for the City of Miami, which has its own program. People wanting an appointment can call (305) 499-8767 at 9 am.MORE NEWS: Cold Fronts Bring More Than Just Cool Dry Air To South Florida
“We have these units that will be responding to your residence to conduct a sample,” said Fire Chief Alan Cominsky. “We will only be testing the individuals that are scheduled, that made that appointment for that day to have that sample collected.”