NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - COVID testing sites in Miami-Dade that were open on New Year’s Day for those who wanted to get tested have closed for the day, as the omicron variant continues to spread across South Florida.
From Northwest Miami-Dade and Miami Gardens to Southwest Miami-Dade, for many in South Florida, the new year started off with lots of long lines.
Testing sites in Miami-Dade that opened on Saturday were Tropical Park, South Dade Government Center, and Miami-Dade College North Campus.
At MDC North, drivers waited for hours for their turn to test. 7News cameras captured a line of vehicles twisting and turning through the campus.
It was a similar situation at Tropical Park, where hundreds of cars wrapped around the site while others poured into the park to get swabbed.
The Islamic Center of Greater Miami in Miami Gardens also opened a temporary COVID PCR walk-up testing site.
“Anybody, everybody. We are open, we are here to serve humanity. Anybody can come in and get tested,” said Khalid Mirza with the Islamic Center of Greater Miami.
These locations were open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Port Miami Terminal J also administered COVID tests from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The uptick in traffic at local testing sites comes as the statewide COVID count surpassed 56,000 new cases on Saturday.
The latest developments come after the Archdiocese of Miami announced it will require all students and employees to wear a mask while inside when classes resume on Monday, regardless of vaccination status. Officials said they will keep this policy in place for three weeks and reassess after that.
Meanwhile, in Broward County, the school board voted 5-3 to require masks for only adult visitors and vendors. Face coverings for teachers and staff will remain optional.
Board members got pushback from Anna Fusco, the president of the Broward Teachers Union.
“It’s either all or leave it how it is, and trust that your employees are wearing the masks,” she said.
In Miami-Dade, school district officials said all adults will be required to wear masks, including teachers and staff.
“We are forced to do what we’ve done for a long period of time, which is embrace protective protocols,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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