Through 14 days of rapid test administration, a total of 662 rapid tests have been performed, with 71 resulting in the test being positive for COVID-19, a positive rate of 10.7%.
“On behalf of the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, we are very pleased that we could assist our partners in bringing rapid testing to the residents of Escambia County,” said Steven Barry, Chairman and District 5 Commissioner. “Rapid testing is extremely beneficial because it gives someone infected with COVID-19 the information they need to start isolating and prevent community spread almost immediately instead of having to wait days for the information.”
Currently, rapid testing is available to Escambia County residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals wishing to be tested are required to be prescreened by calling the Ascension Sacred Heart COVID-19 Call Center at 850-746-2684. Call Center personnel then schedule appointments at the most convenient testing site for the patient.
The test is available to residents of Escambia County who are three months of age or older. Testing is provided at no cost to the patient, thanks in part to a grant provided by Escambia County to its partners as part of the CARES Act. The Abbott rapid test is a molecular nasal swab that detects COVID-19 in 15 minutes or less.
Rapid testing is available at three drive-through sites in Escambia County from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Community Health Northwest Florida operates sites at Brownsville Community Center at 3200 W. Desoto St. and Cantonment Pediatrics, 470 S. Highway 29 in Cantonment. Ascension Sacred Heart provides rapid testing at their drive-through COVID-19 testing site at 5192 Bayou Blvd.
Community Health Northwest Florida and Ascension Sacred Heart are planning to expand the rapid test program to include longer testing hours per day and to initiate weekend testing. Community Health Northwest Florida and Ascension Sacred Heart are also planning to expand the program to allow individuals who have not been prescreened the opportunity to test.