PINELLAS COUNTY (CW44 News At 10) – According to a Twitter post from Baycare, for the second day in a row, Tropicana Field COVID-19 Testing site forced to turn away residents after depleting testing supplies. On Monday, June 29th, a Pinellas County COVID-19 testing site shut down after running out of tests.
#COVID-19 testing at Tropicana Field is closed for the day & resumes tomorrow at 7 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis until supplies are exhausted. Enter site at corner of 16th Street S & 3rd Ave S. @StPetePD @StPeteFL @HealthyPinellas @PinellasCoNews pic.twitter.com/sgGhmN8QaH
— BayCare (@BayCare) June 30, 2020
Hundreds of cars lined up outside of Tropicana Field, Monday morning, just before sunrise to catch their spot in line for Covid-19 testing. The site was created as a partnership between the City of St. Pete, Baycare Health System, The Florida Dept. of Health in Pinellas and Pinellas County and opened at 7:00 a.m. Testing was on a first come, first serve basis. What they didn’t expect is the overwhelming amount of cars that would show up.
Just an hour after opening, the site had to be shut down after reaching capacity.
CW44 News at 10 reached out to Baycare who released this statement reading in part “No one likes turning people away, but unfortunately the nation’s supply lines and laboratories capacity continue to struggle to expand fast enough to keep up with COVID-19’s spread and the increased demand for testing.”.
Health officials say 357 people were tested before they made the announcement to shut the site down. Testing materials had run out.
St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman responded to the shut down given the site’s partnership with the City of St. Pete. On social media he said in part “The testing capacity is disappointing. We are working with the state to bring additional, expanded testing with Saturday and evening hours to another St. Pete site ASAP.”
The St. Pete Police Department took to Twitter during the shut down. The department urged citizens right away to return to the site when it opens back up on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m.
For more testing info, call 1-800-BAYCARE.