By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New COVID-19 test sites are popping up across South Florida following the recent rise in cases across the state.

Last week, the state’s health department announced more than 11-thousand new cases in Miami-Dade, an increase of more than six thousand cases from the week before. The county’s current positivity rate is 10.1 percent.

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“We are actually a bit better off here in Miami-Dade We have a higher vaccination rate than some other parts of Florida,” said FIU infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty.

Statewide, there were 73-thousand new coronavirus cases in Florida last week and the positivity rate jumped to 15 percent.

At a new testing site at the Home Depot on SW 152nd Street and 19th Avenue in southwest Miami-Dade, a steady flow of people showed up to get swabbed.

“My brother’s friend is sick. So we all got tested. My brother’s friend has COVID,” said Lauren Issa.

Gloria Tena was one of the first people to show up at the site for a test.

“I heard the numbers are getting higher and I am worried,” she said. “I heard the new version of the virus is very dangerous.”

Frankie Ruiz said he was there because he’s planning to travel.

“I have to get tested. If not, I can not get into the country I am headed to,” he said.

Jana Gottesman was alarmed by the increasing numbers and didn’t want to take any chances.

“Because my husband has been vaccinated and we have been very careful. He tested positive for COVID, so myself and my kids are getting tested,” said Gottesman.

“Are you worried?’ asked CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.

“Yes, obviously. We went to Detroit for a month and we were visiting family there and now we are back for a week and he got it,” said Gottesman.

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She added that she’s worried about problems tied to the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“It just feels like things are worse, you don’t know what’s going to happen with the numbers going up,” said Gottesman.

“I think we are clearly headed in the wrong direction and it’s again primarily due to unvaccinated individuals. However, I am seeing mild symptomatic cases in fully vaccinated persons as well contributing to it,” said Dr. Marty.

Dr. Marty said another troubling factor has arisen. She said Pfizer has reported a drop in protection starting six months after the vaccine is given.

“If you are going to find yourself in a situation where it’s crowded indoors or where it’s poorly ventilated, then the vaccine can be overwhelmed,” she said.

Among other new sites for testing in Miami-Dade, one opened at W 59th Street and 15th Avenue in Hialeah.

In Broward, testing sites like the one at Mills Pond Park are also busy.

“It continues to offer PCR diagnostic tests. On Sunday we actually did 700 tests,” said spokesman Mike Jachles.

For those heading to a test site, a photo ID is required and you are encouraged to bring an insurance card if you have one. Pre-registration is not required.

Gottesman also has some advice.

“I would say get tested if you have symptoms. Hopefully, more people will get tested and we can get this under control,” she said.

Most of the new testing sites are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

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Peter D'Oench