MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A new coronavirus testing site opens Wednesday on the grounds of the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition.
The county is opening the location in partnership with Florida International University and the Florida Department of Health.
“It is through testing that we can actually start knowing how this virus works," Dr. Eneida Rolland, CEO of the FIU Healthcare Network, said. "We are very hopeful and optimistic that we can win this battle -- not only the battle, but the war.”
Testing is currently available for people 18 and over who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.
An appointment must be made by calling 305-499-8767.
The call center opens at 9 a.m. and takes appointments for the following day until all 300 slots are filled. The call center then closes until the next day at 9 a.m.
Drivers are asked to enter through Southwest 20th Street and 107th Avenue.
County officials said FIU researchers will be testing a simple algorithm developed by doctors at FIU to triage patients.
“I want to thank our partners at FIU and the Florida Department of Health for working with us to launch this testing site at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition grounds,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. “This new site gives our residents access to the testing they need so that we can save lives and continue working to flatten the curve of COVID-19.”
A field hospital with 250 beds is also on site, which could potentially treat COVID-19 patients.
“This may be used for a surge for COVID-19 patients. That’s still something in the air,” Gimenez said.
The testing site will be running on an as needed basis, which could be anywhere from four to six weeks, or even longer.