HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases ever since the pandemic began, and South Florida is continuing to add new ways to help detect the rapidly spreading virus.
A grim number of new cases were reported on Tuesday in the Sunshine State.
There are nearly 47,000 new COVID-19 cases across Florida.
The seven-day positivity average in Miami-Dade is 25%.
“We do, just to be clear, recommend having a rapid test during your period of quarantine after you were been exposed,” said Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
Starting Thursday morning across Broward County, residents can pick up an at-home rapid test kit at one of nine libraries.
Several cars could be seen lined up waiting to collect testing kits.
“Just trying to stay safe,” one woman said.
When asked if it was worth the wait, one man said, “Oh, yes, absolutely and they have it really well organized at the traffic to let people in, so yes, it’s very worth it.”
The distribution is scheduled to end at 6 p.m., but they will end once the kits run out.
Although supplies did run out fast, most sites ran out within the first few hours.
They’re handing out two per family and recipients have to show proof they live in the county.
As these tests are being distributed, Walensky is reminding Americans how important at-home tests are after you get exposed to the virus, but she revealed their uncertainty for use during isolation.
“We actually don’t know how our rapid tests perform and how well they predict whether you’re transmissible during the end of disease,” she said. “The FDA has not authorized them for that use. If you got a rapid test at five days and it was negative, we weren’t convinced that you weren’t still transmissible. We didn’t wanna leave a false sense of security. We still wanted you to wear the mask.”
Local leaders are hoping the distribution of at-home tests helps relieve long lines at testing sites.
At the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, law enforcement helped direct traffic to keep the line moving.
“We’re getting tested for COVID for a couple of reasons,” one woman said.
“I’m doing it because we have to go back to work, and you have to be responsible,” one woman said.
To help with the demand in testing, Miami-Dade County officials opened two new sites on Wednesday and expanded the hours at Zoo Miami.
This is giving sites like Tropical Park a little break with less traffic.
In Broward, officials added more testing at Markham Park on Thursday, and they are opening up a new testing site on Monday at Mullins Park in Coral Springs.
“Stay safe, everybody. Please follow the guidelines and wear your mask and keep your six feet,” one woman said.
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