MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Last week was the first full week of the drive-up testing site at Hard Rock Stadium taking people without an appointment. There were plenty of bumps in the road, not because of the tests or the testers, but because of some people not being well-informed when they arrived.
For most of the day Sunday, there were no long lines of cars. It was quite a change from the miles and miles of cars waiting to drive onto the lot earlier last week, which created a few chain reaction problems on their own.
Dozens of those drivers, who likely didn’t anticipate the 4 to 4 ½ hour wait, were forced to sweat it out as helped was called in. 18 cars ran out of gas on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the site administered 641 tests. On Sunday, only half of that number was tested. It’s an obvious ebb and flow with demand that can still be streamlined if drivers show up prepared and knowing the correct criteria.
“You must have working windows. If those windows don’t open and close you will not be tested because of the risk of contamination,” said Mike Jachles, Florida PIO Deployment Team.
Site managers say a maximum of 5 people per car will be tested. If passengers are in the backseat, those windows in the back must be working, too.
You also must meet a certain criteria.
- You must have COVID-19-like symptoms to get tested.
- Anyone with symptoms regardless of age can be tested. You must be 18 years or older with a picture ID. If you are underage, you must be with a parent or guardian.
- 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).
- You must be in a vehicle. No motorcycles, scooters, bicycles or mopeds.
- No walk ups.
“The last thing we want is for people to come out and be turned away because they don’t meet the criteria,” Jachles said.
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.
As of Sunday, 13,830 people have been tested at the Hard Rock Stadium site since the operation first started last month.