COVID-19 testing becomes latest issue for Florida parents

With COVID cases spiking in classrooms in Florida and across the country, parents like Cristi Salinas say they feel helpless. 

As hundreds of kids are exposed to COVID, testing has turned into a rat race. 

"We are in the waiting period, so I am anxiously waiting," Dr. Cristi Salinas said.

Salinas is a local pediatric doctor. She says she is in quarantine right now after her son was exposed to another student who had COVID. She’s still struggling to get him a test.

"I took him to urgent care, two different Walgreens and CVS and also called a pediatrics office. I wasn't able to get any going," Salinas said.

Steven Shultz says one of his kids tested positive on the second day of school. 

"I have four children, three are showing symptoms. I am trying to get two of them tested, but we can't find a testing site open for the next three days," Shultz said. 

Shultz says places, like Walgreens, that offer free testing are completely booked. Other places offer tests for a high price. That is an issue for many financially challenged families.

"Today, we went and Googled and called places, but yeah, there are a couple places. A pharmacy in Sebastian, $63 a test. Well, I need two of them, so that is $126 we cannot afford that," Shultz said.

In response, Brevard public schools created another site in Viera that can provide COVID tests to quarantined students. That’s an hour drive for some parents like Shultz.

"It is such a stressful situation. Let us say the other ones don't somehow become positive. Now, we have to send them back to school, but how long before they do catch this?" Shultz said.

If you have a Brevard County student in quarantine that needs a COVID-19 test to return back to the classroom, click here to make an appointment.