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COVID-19: State developing contingency plan for The Villages

In this image from Facebook video, Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says state emergency managers are working on a contingency plan for The Villages.

Positive tests for coronavirus have popped up in Lake and Sumter counties, and the large retirement community is at particular risk because of its aging population.

DeSantis says the state, The Villages and the University of Florida are teaming up on a program to expand available testing.

He imagines drive-thru testing there will look a little different than in Broward County.

“With the Broward thing,” he said at a Wednesday evening press conference, “people kind of drive up their car, you do it. The Villages they’re going to be driving up in their golf carts and they’re going to be getting swabbed.”

A UF Health spokesman says new in-house testing at their medical facilities, including those in Lake and Sumter, will speed up testing for coronavirus.

He had no information on the program DeSantis was talking about. But he says they are exploring opportunities to offer testing on a greater scale.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.