FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis was in South Florida on Monday, at which time he announced that two state-supported COVID-19 testing sites in Miami-Dade would begin antigen testing. DeSantis said the testing will be available at the Hard Rock Stadium and Marlins Park locations, and people who are tested will receive their results within 15 minutes.
Speaking Monday morning at Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale, DeSantis said antigen testing will be limited to people who are showing symptoms of the virus, or those ages 65 and older.
It may solve one of the biggest issues during this pandemic — the delay of people waiting several day to learn if they’re infected.
“If you’re somebody that is symptomatic and you don’t get your results back for 7 days, that is not helpful,” DeSantis said. “For asymptomatic test-takers, if it takes 7 days, then the test is basically useless at that time.
“And if we can focus on those people who really need these tests results the quickest, I think we’re going to be able to improve.”
Asymptomatic patients will still be able to be swab-tested for COVID-19 at the locations, the governor said.
“If Amazon can get you a package in a day it two, we should be able to get results in the same time,” said Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Sunday on Local 10 News’ “This Week in South Florida.”
“We’ve diverted away from a lot of these national laboratories that were having a national issue with reagents and their capacity to complete all these tests for all the states. Obviously that was unacceptable.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antigen testing will show whether a patient is currently infected with the virus, while antibody testing shows whether a patient was previously infected with the virus.
The CDC does not recommend antibody testing solely to diagnose an infection, but health officials say these tests can be helpful to track the spread of the virus and in clinical assessments if a patient is suspected to have a post-infectious syndrome, such as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children.