More COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Centers to Open in Florida

Drive Thru Testing Coronavirus

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By Giselle Balido

March 19, 2020

To better address the increasing demand for diagnosis, those who meet the criteria for testing now have more options. 

With 314 total cases diagnosed in Florida as of March 18, the need for testing increases daily. But hospitals and community health centers are taking the lead in providing more testing options, including drive-thru facilities.

Miami-Dade County

As of Wednesday, March 18, Community Health of South Florida has begun testing patients at its Doris Ison Health Center. The non-profit Center on Southwest 216th Street and 103rd Court has 11 health centers and 35 school-based health centers. By the week of March 23, it expects to have another drive-thru testing site at its Marathon Health Center at 2805 Overseas Hwy in the Florida Keys.

However, to be eligible for the test, patients must have recently traveled to any of the affected countries or have been in contact with someone who has the novel coronavirus. They must also be experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Those who are experiencing severe symptoms are asked to visit a hospital ER instead (health authorities advise them to call ahead of time so that the hospital can prepare). Patients who meet the testing criteria need to call first at 305-252-4820 to schedule an appointment. Testing will take place from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Broward County

Broward County is expected to get its first drive-through test sites this week. The Florida National Guard’s medical task force is currently consulting with the Memorial Healthcare System staff to screen and test at the county’s first mobile testing station in Miramar. Once a plan is in place, Memorial Healthcare System and the Florida National Guard will announce the eligibility requirements for testing. However, Stanley Marks, Chief Medical Officer for Memorial Healthcare System, said only those who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines will be tested at the Miramar drive-through, with healthcare workers and the elderly with symptoms getting priority.

Cleveland Clinic Florida also announced that in the next few days it will start offering drive-through testing for COVID-19 in Weston, Coral Springs and Wellington. But first, the hospital announced, one of their doctors must decide an individual meets the Florida Department of Health criteria for the test. Cleveland Clinic said there will be no out-of-pocket costs for testing.

Other Drive-Thru Testing Sites

In West Palm Beach, Foundcare, a healthcare center with a drive-thru site located at 2330 S. Congress Ave. stopped accepting new visitors due to a shortage of supplies. “Currently we have scheduled appointments through April 10th. For those who have an appointment, we will proceed with testing as long as our supplies remain,” Yolette Bonnet, CEO of FoundCare, announced Tuesday. “We will announce if we are able to resume testing as soon as those kits become available.” In the interim, they will not test anyone who does not have a confirmed appointment.

Also, following the CDC guidelines for testing, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center and the Miami VA Medical Center are setting up outside tents as walk-up clinics. Baptist Health South Florida also announced it may soon be opening its own drive-thru testing sites.


In Pensacola, Community Health Northwest Florida, which primarily cares for the community’s uninsured and under-insured population, is set to open a drive-thru testing site in Brownsville on Monday, March 23.

Ascension Sacred Heart opened a drive-thru facility Monday 16. Residents with symptoms need to contact their primary care physician to be screened over the phone, according to hospital officials. Ascension Sacred Heart also has a line for over-the-phone screenings beginning at 6 a.m. Monday at 850-746-2684. Those with symptoms should call for a pre-screening before visiting the drive-thru for testing. To ensure pre-screening is done first, the hospital is not disclosing the location of the drive-thru.

Additionally, Baptist Health Care will be opening up a freestanding testing center at an undisclosed location in Pensacola by the end of this week.

Because openings and availability may change, and to find out about all testing locations, or new ones opening up, call the Florida Department of Health Hotline: 1-866-779-6121



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