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COVID-19 testing site reopens in Broward due to rise in cases; youth still hesitant about vaccine

A COVID-19 testing site that had been shuttered due to a lack of demand reopened Thursday at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines due to the continuing rise in cases.
A COVID-19 testing site that had been shuttered due to a lack of demand reopened Thursday at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines due to the continuing rise in cases.

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A COVID-19 testing site that had been shuttered due to a lack of demand reopened Thursday at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines due to the continuing rise in cases.

However, some people, despite the fatal cases, are still hesitant about getting the vaccine.

“No matter how many you see sick and on a ventilator, you still have no plans of getting the shot?” asked Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney at the reopened Broward testing site.

“No, not at this point right now,” says Javier Perez, who went to go get a COVID-19 test.

Perez is among the unvaccinated who is solely getting tested Thursday ahead of a family outing.

Unfortunately, it’s this unvaccinated population that’s driving the latest COVID-19 surge, according to doctors.

Perez says he has his own reasons for not getting the vaccine. “I don’t even do the flu vaccines, ya know, because I rarely get the flu,” explains Perez. “I’ve only gotten the flu, like maybe three times since I was a kid.”

Because of this perspective from so many, there is a new public service announcement in Broward County that is now targeting young people, specifically teenagers, to encourage them to head to the vaccination lines.

The new PSA uses sports as an alliteration to “get the shot.”

Meanwhile, families are facing multiple dilemmas over the vaccine.

“I’m struggling with mine [my son],” says mother Diana Bowles. “He’s a republican, and he’s like, ‘Mom, don’t do it.’”

On Thursday at the newly reopened C.B. Smith Park COVID-19 testing site, also has a second line, which is much shorter, of folks waiting to get the vaccine.

Bowles got her second COVID-19 vaccine at the newly opened testing site, despite her son telling her not to.

“I was really healthy and I was just waiting for the right time,” she says. “I was praying for the Pfizer since January and I’ve been isolated.” -

“My thinking has always been if enough young people come down with serious symptoms, maybe that will start reversing that trend,” says Carlos Camet.

At the new testing site, located at C.B. Smith Park (900 N. Flamingo Road), no insurance is needed, and no appointment is required.

It will be open Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Free PCR throat swab testing is available for adults and children, with or without symptoms, regardless of age. Drivers must remain in their vehicles while being tested.

The results for these PCR tests will be available from the Florida Department of Health in Broward within 24 to 72 hours.

Meanwhile, the testing site at Markham Park in Sunrise experienced long lines of people waiting to get tested Thursday morning.

The surge in cases was the focus Wednesday for hospitals and officials across the state during a virtual roundtable with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

One executive from Tampa General Hospital said they currently have the most COVID patients they’ve ever had throughout the pandemic and hospitals in South Florida are also seeing a rise in COVID patients.

“Ninety-five percent of our current patients that are here are unvaccinated,” Broward Health CEO Shane Strum said.

For information on where COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Florida, click here.


About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.