MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida still has just two public sites where you do not need to be in a car to get tested for coronavirus. That has one mayor saying much more needs to happen to make sure people in minority communities have access to the testing.
Asymptomatic seniors can now be tested for coronavirus at Charles Hadley Park, a drive-thru site in Liberty City.
Back on Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was looking to open walk-up sites in Miami-Dade like those in Lauderhill and Pompano Beach to help low income and minority communities. So far, no plans have been made for walk up testing in Miami-Dade.
The two walk up sites in Broward have tested more than 1,100 people.
“We are trying to leverage an opportunity to do the rapid testing with CVS Pharmacy,” Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam said.
Mayor Messam says the governor has not approved.
“We are hopeful we can make that happen so that the residents of Miramar can have an additional location to find out their impact,” he said.
Currently, there are no testing sites in Miramar, which is the largest black populated city in Broward. Like we first reported Friday, nationwide, minority communities have a higher risk of getting the virus. Since then, we have numbers to show that’s the case in Florida.
Blacks make up roughly 16% of the state’s population and have 16% of COVID-19 cases. Hispanics make up 26% of the state’s population and they also make up 28% of cases. Meanwhile, 53% of the population is White non-Hispanic and make up 25% of the cases.
Amber Hewitt is with FamiliesUSA, a national nonpartisan, consumer healthcare advocacy organization.
“In Miami-Dade County and across the county, we are seeing a disproportionate negative impact on black and Latino communities,” she said.” It’s shedding a harsh light on existing health and health care disparities.”
MotherJones.com reported states like Michigan, Mississippi and Wisconsin are places where black people make up a larger share of cases than Florida. The CDC has incomplete data since all states don’t report race and ethnicity.
Hewitt says that data along with testing are important nationally to help get resources to those most in need.
With more than 250 cases in Miramar, the mayor says he knows more people have had it or currently have the virus. That’s another reason he says more testing in his community is needed.