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DeSantis: 400,000 rapid COVID-19 tests going to seniors, schools and test sites this week

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A BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test was administered as a demonstration to one of the governor's aides during a press conference in The Villages on Tuesday. Image: Florida Channel video

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that 400,000 rapid coronavirus tests are going out this week to retirement communities, nursing homes, schools and test sites throughout Florida.

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 cards by Abbott are about the size of a credit card and give results without the use of lab equipment.

DeSantis presented the 15-minute antigen tests at a press conference in The Villages.

He says there will be more every week, provided for free by the federal government.

“One hundred eighty thousand for our senior communities like The Villages, 100,000 for our long-term care facilities, 60,000 for school districts and 60,000 for state testing sites — and this is just the first week,” he said.

DeSantis urges senior communities not on the state’s list to send an email — to rapidtestforseniors@em.myflorida.com — requesting the tests.

He says the rapid tests will help seniors in The Villages continue their “sustainable” approach to activities. The tests will help with visitation at nursing homes and end unnecessary quarantining when a student has symptoms but not the virus.

And, he says, the state will save ten of millions of dollars.

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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.