Three new public COVID-19 testing sites will open next week in Broward County, and another opened Monday as cases in South Florida continue to skyrocket, particularly among children.
Broward Mayor Steve Geller announced the locations Monday. These are scheduled to open early next week:
Tradewinds Park, 3600 W Sample Road in Coconut Creek.
Markham Park, 16001 W. State Road 84 in Sunrise.
C.B. Smith Park, 900 N Flamingo Road in Pembroke Pines.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health in Broward was mum about hours, saying “we will advise when all of the information is finalized.”
The existing public COVID testing centers, which are free and allow testing of children, do not require appointments. Patients get their results several days later by a text message. The locations are:
Boulevard Heights Community Center, 6770 Garfield Street in Hollywood. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. This is a walk-up site.
Mills Pond Park, 2201 NW 9 Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. This is a drive-thru site.
South Regional Health Center, 4105 Pembroke Road in Hollywood. The site opened Monday as part of the Department of Health’s expansion. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This is a drive-thru site.
The Health Care District of Palm Beach County said it has no plans to expand mass testing sites. The county has many more sites than during the early pandemic, including many retail pharmacies, the district said in a statement.
As of mid-day Monday, people were waiting three hours at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale. City spokesman Mike Jachles advised the public to “pack a little bit of patience” — and come with a full tank of gas.
Public buildings have reinstituted mask requirements as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
Palm Beach County’s requirement took effect Monday for all buildings housing city offices as well as transit vehicles and golf pro shops.
Broward’s mask mandate took effect Friday for places such as county buildings, libraries, buses and Port Everglades.
A new state law, championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, prohibits local governments from imposing penalties for mask violations, but security will ask people to leave government buildings if they don’t comply, Geller said.
The Supervisor of Elections also said its new rules order all employees to either have the vaccine or show proof of a negative COVID test weekly.