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Florida Department of Health in Orange County is Making its Own Coronavirus Testing Kits

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A Florida Department of Health worker puts together a kit. Photo: Danielle Prieur

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is getting ready for a surge in demand for COVID-19 test kits. 

So, the health department is making more.

Sandra Roe is one of nine workers making the test kits. First she makes sure her work area is sterile.  

Then, she adds 3 ml of saline solution to a glass test tube and tops it off with a swab. The whole process takes less than a minute. 

Department spokesman Kent Donahue says two more teams will help ramp up production. 

“It will give you a chance to know what you’re facing. So, it gives you a chance to plan your treatment process.”

Donahue says more than 80 people have been tested this week at an Alafaya Trail testing site. 

“Right now, our first numbers for the week were nine on Monday, twenty-one on Tuesday, we had twenty-six collections on Wednesday, and roughly twenty-five to twenty-six on Thursday.”

Donahue says each kit will be used to collect nasal cavity samples from patients. These samples are shipped to Jacksonville for processing.

People with flu-like symptoms can call the Florida Department of Health hotline at 407-723-5004 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to determine whether they meet CDC requirements for getting tested. 

If you’d like to listen to the story, click on the clip.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.