Broward, Miami-Dade County run into coronavirus testing issues

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - There’s one less drive through testing in Broward County right now, because they’ve run out of a key supply.

Broward Health, who has been testing patients in Pompano Beach, is out of swabs. The operation was suspended Tuesday evening.

Two other sites are still up and running in Broward: Memorial Regional is testing at C.B. Smith Park and Cleveland Clinic in Weston.

“What is in short supply is the collection swab to take the sample, so the state labs can run the test,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “We have other CLEA certified labs throughout the state of Florida who can run the test.”

At the testing site at Hard Rock Stadium, 753 people were tested, Wednesday. The people who were tested included first responders, healthcare workers and seniors 65 and older who are exhibiting symptoms and have a fever of 99.6 F or higher.

Officials said 147 people were turned away from the Hard Rock Stadium testing site on Wednesday.

7News has learned there was an issue with some of the tests performed at the Miami Gardens site. Officials confirmed they have to retest some patients and have been reaching out to them to schedule new appointments for Friday and Saturday.

Officials said some of the kits used during the first two days of testing at the site were not compatible with current testing procedures, and they will set up two special lanes for those patients on Friday and Saturday.

There are still criteria for who gets tested: First responders showing symptoms, anyone 65 or older showing symptoms and those who’ve traveled internationally or anywhere else where there’s an outbreak.

Everyone else is being asked to socially distance themselves.

“The most important thing to do is stay home,” Dr. Jennifer Goldman said Monday. “We’re all practicing social isolation. That’s really important to prevent the spread of this virus.”

Meanwhile, healthcare workers at the Marlins Park site tested 257 people on Wednesday.

Officials said they may need to loosen some of the restrictions on who gets tested and use only 300 testing kits per day. This is because the test was strictly for those 65 and older who had a test appointment.

Crews turned away 71 cars that did not have an appointment, like Dr. Theresa Contreas, who wanted to get tested.

“I understand that everybody is trying to do their best job, but there needs to be better coordination and information to the public,” Contreas said.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez continues to run the city while in self-isolation, as he had tested positive for the coronavirus himself.

Suarez said that if Miami’s seniors who were most in need of a test were now mostly tested, the strict testing requirements may change, but testing materials are still in limited supply.

If you live in Broward County and need to get tested for the coronavirus, call the C.B. Smith Park Screening Center at 954-276-4680. The testing runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In Miami, if you are 65 or older and need to have an appointment to get tested, call the Miami-Dade County Testing Hotline at 305-499-8767.

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