MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s the first of its kind in South Florida.

A COVID-19 test site that will take both walk-ups and people in vehicles will open Friday outside the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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Testing will be daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary.

The testing is free and available to anyone 18 years or older regardless of COVID-19 symptoms.

“It’s very important to have testing in this community right now,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “It’s very important, otherwise we are flying blind against this pandemic. We have to know. We have to be aware of what precisely is out there, what countermeasures we need to deploy.”

City Manager Jimmy Morales took a test Thursday during a soft opening of the site.

“For those that are worried about the nose swab, don’t worry, it just tickles a little bit. We are encouraging folks to continue to do social distancing, continue to do the quarantining. We all are looking at how we get back to normal, part of that process is getting tested.”

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The walk-up testing service will be in parking lot P-29 located at 17 Street and Convention Center Drive, across from Miami Beach City Hall. Those wishing to be tested should enter the parking lot wearing a face covering and have a photo ID. Parking will not be available for walk-up testing.

The drive-through testing entrance is also at 17 Street and Convention Center Drive. People are asked to remain in their vehicles, with the windows up, and have a photo ID on the dashboard. Everyone in the vehicle should be wearing a face covering. Those wanting to be tested need to display a photo ID and be seated next to a working window. There is a maximum of five tests per vehicle.

“This is a great place to do it, it’s a great element for us to be doing it in and these guys are doing a great job. The (National) Guard knows what they’re doing. It’s safe, it’s convenient and it’s going to help our community fight this virus,” said Morales.

This test site will be capped at 400 patients a day, which may be adjusted based on need.

Miami Beach has been named one of ten communities to be included in the Rockefeller Foundation’s COVID-19 National Action Plan. The initiative will deliver substantial expertise and personnel to expand local capacity to monitor future infection waves and do critical contact tracing of infected individuals.

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