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Posted on: April 30, 2020

COVID-19 test site at UWF for Escambia and Santa Rosa residents opens Saturday

At the request of the governor’s office, the direction of the Florida Department of Emergency Management with the support of the Florida Department of Health, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties announced a new mobile testing site at the University of West Florida will open to the public Sat., May 2 at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

The drive-through test site will be located at the SP2 parking lot, which is on the east side of campus, near the East Sports Complex. Individuals are asked to remain in their vehicles, and pre-screening is not required. The National Guard will be there to assist. Friday will be a dry run open to Escambia and Santa Rosa County first responders from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“We want to thank the governor’s office for initiating this testing site at the University of West Florida for Escambia and Santa Rosa County residents,” said Escambia County Board Chairman Steven Barry. “I’d also like to thank Dr. Martha Saunders and the University of West Florida for the use of their campus to accommodate residents from both counties in such a central location. Furthermore, this site will provide residents the opportunity to be tested, both for their own peace of mind and for the overall health of our community.”

Santa Rosa County Chairman Don Salter added, "We appreciate the governor bringing these much needed resources to our part of the state. Increased testing capacity is the key to safely reopening the Florida panhandle." 

“We are happy to provide the opportunity for this much needed testing site," said UWF President Martha Saunders. "UWF will always do its part to protect the health and safety of our community.”  


What to expect at community-based testing sites

  • You must arrive in a personal vehicle.
  • Air conditioning must work.
  • All people must be seated next to operating window. 
  • Each vehicle will be greeted and directed by personnel in full medical protective gear. 
  • All passengers must stay inside vehicles from arrival to departure.
  • Limit the people in your vehicle to those needing testing (maximum of five).
  • Your temperature will be checked using a no-touch thermometer. 

Each person who meets site testing criteria will be asked for the following: 

  • Photo ID with current address (place on the dashboard) 
  • Health insurance card (everyone will be tested regardless of insurance coverage) 
  • Healthcare facility employee or first responder ID/badge (if applicable) 

Things to consider:

  • There are no bathrooms.
  • There is no food bank distribution at this location.
  • There may significant wait times.

Testing:

  • A healthcare provider in personal protective equipment will provide you with
  • instructions.
  • You will be given a tissue to blow your nose and will need to keep your tissue to dispose on your own.
  • A soft swab will be inserted deep into your nose to get the necessary sample. This may be slightly uncomfortable; however, the test is quick and should take less than a minute.
  • Once the test is complete, you will move to the final station. 
  • You will be given information to take with you on what to do while awaiting test results. 
  • Keep the instruction sheet until you get your test results. 
  • Depart/exit community-based testing site. 
  • Follow the instructions on the paper provided by the community-based testing site. Continue to monitor and record symptoms. You will receive results via phone call.

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