WHITE SPRINGS — The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton and Columbia counties is offering walk-up testing sites for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Walk-up testing will be offered Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon in White Springs at the White Springs Clinic, located at 16811 Springs Street. 

On Friday, walk-up testing will be available at the Fort White Clinic from 10 a.m. to noon at 535 SW Dortch Street in Fort White.

Additional dates and locations of walk-up testing sites are to be determined.

Testing will be administered only to individuals at the sites that meet the criteria of Priority 1 or 2 cases.

Priority 1 cases are healthcare facility workers with symptoms, while Priority 2 cases are patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms, patients with underlying medical conditions with symptoms or first responders with symptoms.

Individuals will be screened upon arrival and will be tested only if they meet testing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health. All others that do not meet these criteria will be referred back to their primary care physician. There is no charge for the test administered at the walk-up testing location.

According to the health department, this is not a rapid-response antibody test. Test results may take 24-48 hours or longer. 

After taking the test, individuals will be given information on what to do while awaiting the results. 

Testing sites will be staffed by health care professionals in medical protective gear who are trained to test for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Here are some general guidelines to follow: 

  • Do not leave, except to get medical care. 
  • Do not visit public areas. 
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. 
  • Call before you get medical care. 
  • Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. 
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. 
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home. 
  • Avoid sharing personal household items. 
  • Clean all "high-touch" surfaces every day.

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government, politics, law enforcement and first responders. ​

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