Fort Lauderdale cancels MLK parade, adds COVID test site

A new coronavirus testing site at Snyder Park opens Wednesday after demand soared at the city's Mills Pond Park. Fort Lauderdale also confirmed the cancellation of its Jan. 17 Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale is boosting its COVID-19 testing capacity, but in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, the city has also announced the cancellation of its Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

The parade was scheduled for the morning of Jan. 17 along Sistrunk Boulevard.

Mayor Dean Trantalis said he supports that decision and hopes the community can find other ways to honor King’s legacy.

With the rise of the omicron variant and COVID-19 infections surging across Florida, local leaders have taken action to step up testing.

At Fort Lauderdale’s Mills Pond Park, 1,200 tests have been administered per day, but demand has exceeded that, prompting the city to team up with Allied Health and open up a new testing site at Snyder Park beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

“We are now going to be able to accommodate up to 1,500 tests per day,” Trantalis said.

People can either drive up or walk up for a PCR or rapid test. No appointment is needed. When you arrive, a scan of a QR code will get you started.

“You can fill all the information out before you get up to the checkpoint to actually get tested,” said Ron Lachica of Allied Health.

The turnaround time for results is expected to be as soon as 15 minutes for a rapid test. For a PCR test, two days at the latest.

“We also use a local lab ... so we have turnaround times that are 24 to 48 hours,” Lachica said.

Trantalis said he knows how important testing is to stop the spread of the virus, but he also urges residents to get vaccinated if they are not already.

For information on where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine or test in South Florida, click here.

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.