As Lake City residents return to the road for summer activities, local health officials are continuing their efforts to ensure testing is widely available to the community.
The Florida Department of Health in Columbia County will hold another drive-thru testing event in downtown Lake City today from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Wilson Park by Lake DeSoto. Testing is available to all who want it — no signs or symptoms needed.
No appointment is needed, either, but there are a few rules of the road.
Participants should refrain from eating, drinking or using tobacco products for two hours before testing. Water is OK.
Children need the consent of a legal guardian for testing.
Here’s what to expect: each individual will be asked to provide their first and last name, address, date of birth and contact information. They’ll then receive instructions for following up, including information about how to obtain rest results online.
Once a staffer finishes with the rundown, participants will then be directed to someone who will provide further instructions, according to the state Health Department’s local office.
The non-invasive process will be conducted by healthcare professionals in protective gear who have been trained to test for covid-19.
Everyone is to remain in their vehicle and should be seated next to a working window. The public is asked to not to take any passengers who aren’t receiving a test.
There may be a long line, so participants should make sure to fill up their gas tanks and double-check that the air conditioner is working.
There are no bathrooms at the Wilson Park testing site, so participants should take care of that beforehand.
The test involves a soft swab, which will be inserted either into the patient’s throat or nose.
It may be a little uncomfortable, but it’s a quick process and shouldn’t take more than a minute.
These are tests to check for people who are actively carrying the virus — antibody tests, which can help someone know if they have already fought off the virus, are not available at this site.
Test results won’t be immediate and may take up to two weeks.
Patients will receive test results via phone.
“Please be patient — calling back to check on your results will not expedite the process,” the Health Department’s Columbia County office wrote in a statement.
Wilson Park is located at 232 Northeast Hillsboro Street.
Additional testing dates and locations are to be determined.