MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – This week, one of the biggest and busiest coronavirus testing sites in South Florida increased the amount of testing it could do and also opened up its criteria to more people.
The ability to test more people brought long lines to the Hard Rock Stadium site. Officials are now advising that anyone coming to the drive-up testing site make sure that their car is in good working condition, that they have a full tank of gas, and plenty of snacks and water.
The wait times can be anywhere from 4 to 4 ½ hours before you get into the gate, and that doesn't include the time it takes to gain entrance.
Drivers also need to keep their windows up with the air conditioning on. Open windows are not allowed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. On Wednesday, 18 drivers ran out of gas from the long wait.
Wednesday was also the first day the Florida Division of Emergency Management, working with the Florida National Guard, increased the testing it could do from 400 to 750 collections daily. It has also switched from collecting samples through uncomfortable nose swabs to throat swabs.
On Monday and Tuesday, the first days with no age restrictions and only 400 tests, the site closed after only two hours. On Wednesday, after the numbers were increased, testing wrapped up before 7 p.m. Thursday's numbers were 711 coronavirus tests administered.
- No appointment is necessary at the stadium site.
- Anyone with symptoms regardless of age can be tested.
- Anyone who has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.
- Anyone with underlying health conditions.
- Health care workers and first responders (do not have to be symptomatic).
All adults must bring a picture ID, and once you’re onsite, it’s a two-step process. You get prescreened before you get tested by a member of the national guard.
Testing is done at the East Parking Lot, 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens, on a first-come, first-served basis, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m., or until test kits run out.