MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – People of all ages lined up for hours Monday morning at Hard Rock Stadium to get tested for the new coronavirus.
No appointment is needed at the testing site, but people must be showing symptoms of the virus, have an underlying health condition or have been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Officials anticipated a large turnout throughout the day, as people began lining up around 6 a.m.
“We’ve increased our traffic control at the site to help process those cars rapidly,” Mike Jachles, of the Florida Association of Public Information Officers, said.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., officials announced the location had reached its capacity for the day.
At 10:34am, the @FLSERT @FLGuard #COVID19 Test Collection Site @HardRockStadium has reached capacity for the day. For those already in the queue (inside the gates) who've been pre-screened, you will be tested. #media @CBSMiami @nbc6 @wsvn @WPLGLocal10 @Univision23 @Telemundo51 pic.twitter.com/LvNzqcWZAL— Florida Association of Public Information Officers (@FloridaPIOs) April 13, 2020
Previously, testing at the location was limited to people 65 or older.
Just like before, all healthcare workers and first responders will continue to get tested.
The changes come as state officials take over operations of the site, which was previously run by the federal government.
“There have been federal partners from HHS here, as well. They’ve been demobilized. This was a federal site to get it up and running quicker,” Jachles said.
Also changing is how the test is administered.
Officials will ditch those uncomfortable nose swabs and use throat swabs instead.
“It’s much more tolerable, especially if we’re going to be testing children or small children here, as well,” Jachles said.
Since the site first opened, more than 11,500 people have been tested outside Hard Rock Stadium -- more than any other National Guard testing site in South Florida.
“It’s been a very ambitious effort,” Jachles said. “It’s going well, and we hope to continue it and get as many people tested that need that testing.”
Officials plan to administer about 400 tests daily.
Results take anywhere from three to six days to receive.