Drive through collects samples from more than 400 people in first day

Only those meeting criteria eligible

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – More than 400 samples were collected to be sent off for testing Friday at the drive through at C.B. Smith Park. Florida’s National Guard had combat medics administering the collection. The site received 3,300 swabs for testing.

“The initial goals was to do 250 samples. By 4 p.m., they have already collected 407,” said Florida Governor Ron Desantis. Desantis said expanding testing is the highest priority in Florida.

Not everyone should show up, however. The priority is still for those 65 or older that are symptomatic and healthcare workers who are on the front lines.

Desantis said it is important that the C.B. Smith Park site get it right because it will be used as a model across the state.

The process itself takes eight minutes, but the wait on Friday was upwards of six hours.

South Florida now has five sample sites up and running, but there’s still a shortage of collection kits and supplies across the state. A major push is being made in Broward, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis.

C.B. Smith Park is at 900 North Flamingo Road, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The only people who will be allowed to have the procedure have to meet criteria.

Those who meet the criteria should enter at Flamingo Road and Johnson Street and will be directed from there.

Additionally, those in line must be registered by 2 p.m. in order to be tested.

Here is the map showing drive-through testing locations:

About the Authors: