KISSIMMEE, Fla . - AdventHealth has opened its fourth drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the Orlando metropolitan area and the first for Osceola County.
The county has the second largest number of positive COVID-19 cases in Central Florida. Before the test site at the Osceola Heritage Park opened Thursday morning, nearly 300 people pre-registered online to get tested.
“As we do more tests we know the numbers are going to come up a little bit higher,” Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez said. “But you know what this is good because this is a way for us to test and figure out how many people really need that help.”
Residents only have to spit into a cup and can expect results in as little as two to three days.
“The patient can administer this test so to speak,” Dr. Timothy Hendrix said. “They can collect the specimen themselves. We don’t have to get in there in their face to do a swab. So the procedure here is we give them the vial, they roll up the window, spit into the tube a few times, put the lid on it, roll down the window and hand it back.”
There is no limit on the number of test kits available. Anyone with or without symptoms or who has had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 may be tested.A doctor’s note is not required.
AdventHealth officials said they accept insurance, but will cover the cost for anyone who is uninsured.
“We believe that opening up testing is some of the most important things we can do,” said Doug Harcombe, CEO of AdventHealth in Celebration. “It can help save lives and it better helps us to take care of our community and keep them safe.”
Officials said they ask that people make appointments online so that they can control the flow of traffic at the Osceola Heritage Park, but add that they will not turn anyone away.
Dr. Hendrix said their AdventHealth test sites have seen a one to two percent positive rate on testing so far.
“We just have to keep testing and keep monitoring people,” Dr. Hendrix said.