Growing frustration with COVID-19 testing in Lee County
LEE COUNTY – We hear about two test sites.
The Lee County Health Department says the tests are readily available to people who need them, but we spoke to people queuing for hours on Monday who say something needs to be done to return the tests. easier to obtain.
Queues meandered around CenturyLink Stadium, again leaving people waiting in their cars for hours. The company that manages it, Nomi Health, shows appointments are made Until wednesday.
But FDOH Lee’s official line is, “Tests are readily available county-wide at local pharmacies, private doctor’s offices, labs, and public testing sites. Home test kits are available for purchase. online and in retail pharmacies. “
So after hearing that answer, we got to the exit of the CenturyLink test site to find out how long people had to wait and whether people would like to see anything change to make the tests more available.
“We stood in line for four hours today,” Adiel Eshkenazi said.
Eshkenazi said he needed a COVID test because he was returning to Europe, but his car was unable to take the wait.
“He was there for so long that the car broke down. They were kind enough to come and take us for the tests,” Eshkenazi said.
Eshkenazi said he tried other options before coming to CenturyLink, but was unlucky.
“The CVSs, the Walgreens, they’re almost all sold out,” Eshkenazi said.
The demand for testing is skyrocketing as so are COVID-19 infections. Lee Health reported a jump of 61 cases over the weekend, and emergency department medical director Dr Timothy Dougherty said the majority of patients were unaware they had COVID ahead of time.
“Most of them haven’t been tested themselves. They may have been exposed to someone who has been tested, but they themselves weren’t tested. When we got the variant delta, a lot of them came with a test on their phone from Healing or somewhere else, ”Dr. Dougherty said.
In his statement, FDOH Lee said, “FDOH Lee is ready to step up testing if necessary to meet demand. “
But Eshkenazi said the demand is already there and the increase is desperately needed.
“You definitely need more options and more test sites like this. It’s a waste of time. It’s my last day of vacation, and that’s how I spent it. Online, waiting to be tested, ”Eshkenazi said.
We asked FDOH Lee if he could provide an on-camera interview, but he declined. We also reached out to Nomi Health, but the company did not respond to our request for comment.