FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiaimi) – A number of drive-thru coronavirus test sites, which closed due to then Hurricane Isaias, reopened Tuesday.
However, the test sites at Marlins Park and Hard Rock Stadium did not. The are scheduled to open on Wednesday and when they do, they’ll be offering a new type of test.
During a news conference at Broward Health’s corporate office in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, Gov. DeSantis announced that two state-run testing sites will add a lane for antigen testing.
“You are gonna be able to go in, get the antigen test, and walk out with a result in 15 minutes,” said DeSantis.
The antigen testing is for people who have symptoms of coronavirus and those 65 years of age and older
There will be 1,250 tests available per day at the two state-run sites.
It’s a major change when it comes to COVID testing In Florida. It’s first arriving in Miami-Dade which has the number of coronavirus cases in the state.
“Now we will get real-time data about the percent testing positive. I think it will be really good. People want to know and they want those results back,” said DeSantis.
So what is the difference between an antigen test and an antibody test?
An antigen is the part of a virus that elicits an immune response. Antigen tests look for antigen proteins. An antigen test can only reveal whether a person is currently infected with COVID-19. Before or after the infection has passed, antigens won’t be present.
Antibody tests are blood tests that reveal if a person has already been exposed to the virus and developed immunities.
An RT-PCR nasopharyngeal test is the more common test to determine whether a person has the live virus.
While antigen tests yield faster results, they are also less accurate then RT-PCR tests, according to Healthline.com, which reports false-negative results from antigen tests may range as high as 20 to 30 percent.
The governor said all other state-run drive-thru testing sites will offer symptomatic lanes for people who think they have the virus. They will be “self-swab” samples with results back in two to three days.
Drive-thru sites are also offering antibody testing.
“The antibody test tells you whether you have been infected. If you have IgM antibodies you likely had a more recent infection. If you have IgG antibodies, more likely you were infected further in the past,” said DeSantis.
Click here to find a state-supported site near you.