COVID-19 testing

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, January 24

Over 9,000 Cases Statewide, 132 Deaths

The state added 9,535 cases according to Sunday's FDOH report. An additional 132 deaths were also reported, one of which in Escambia County. No additional deaths reported in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. 

Local numbers:

Florida National Guard

As July gives way to August, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be front and center in the everyday lives of Floridians. On Monday, two state announcements  and an update from Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

Speaking in Ft. Lauderdale, the governor announced that testing for the coronavirus will be given a faster track in the turnaround time between testing and results. That includes “symptomatic” lanes at all drive-through testing sites in Florida to deal with those showing symptoms, and those 65 and over --  “do-it-yourself” testing.

After stops in Fort Myers and Orlando last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his tour of Florida medical centers on Sunday, with a stop at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.

As of Sunday, there were 8,530 new positive cases reported with 29 fatalities, according to the Florida Department of Health. Florida broke its single-day record for COVID-19 cases again Saturday with 9,585 cases in 24 hours. That brings the overall total of 141,000 cases and 3,419 fatalities.

University of West Florida

No appointment for coronavirus testing? No problem.

Eleven mobile testing sites are deploying statewide, including one at the University of West Florida, which is the tenth to go up.

Friday was – what’s known in these parts – as a “chamber of commerce” day with sunshine and warm temperatures. The testing began around nine o’clock this morning, with around 50 vehicles initially in line at the opening. Testing continues until five o’clock each day.

Mayo Clinic

While the fight against the coronavirus is going on in clinics, hospitals and testing sites, it began in the clinical lab.

Tony Giberson / PNJ

In the nearly two weeks Ascension-Sacred Heart Hospital has been conducting its drive-through testing for coronavirus, the numbers have been increasing daily. And the program could live beyond the current crisis.

The idea was based on the volume of patients coming through Sacred Heart’s emergency room. Chief operating officer Justin Labrato says they wanted to make sure they could keep all patients and health care workers safe.

Given 72 hours to draw up a plan, the team looked at similar drive-throughs in the western states, and made some tweaks.

City of Pensacola and Escambia County leaders provided an update on the coronavirus’ impact on the area on Monday, as the number of reported cases continue to rise.

At the start of his weekly news conference, Mayor Grover Robinson told constituents, “we will get through this – we will find a way.”

The mayor and the others spoke at the Brownsville Community Center, where testing for COVID-19 began Monday morning.