Tampa Airport, BayCare Health To Continue Coronavirus Testing

D'Ann Lawrence White

TAMPA, FL — Tampa International Airport and BayCare Health System announced the expansion of the airport's COVID-19 Passenger Testing Program into 2021 after the success of its first three months of operation.

The coronavirus testing site is located in the airport's Main Terminal, near the entrance to Airside F. Since the program launched on Oct. 1, the testing site has processed more than 12,000 FDA-approved COVID-19 tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction and rapid antigen).

"The numbers make it clear: Passengers appreciate the convenience and the confidence that our TPA COVID-19 testing site provides, making travel safer for themselves and those around them," TPA CEO Joe Lopano said. "We're thrilled to continue our partnership with BayCare in offering this voluntary testing service into 2021."

Both the airport and BayCare anticipate operating the site for several more months.

"We know that until there is a herd immunity, testing will continue to be key to combatting this virus and making us all safer," said Donna St. Louis, BayCare's vice president for business development, whose team oversees the service. "We welcome the chance to partner with Tampa International Airport to provide this service and access for our community."

Program highlights to date:

  • An average of about 133 tests per day, peaking at more than 280 in a single day

  • Usage of PCR and antigen tests is about even, with guests slightly preferring PCR tests.

  • The majority of those tested continues to be departing passengers who tested days in advance of travel

The testing site will be closed on New Year's Day and on Saturdays beginning Jan. 9. Hours of operation are:

  • Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

The pricing of $150 for the PCR test and $60 for the rapid antigen test remains the same.

Testing is voluntary and is open to all arriving and departing passengers who can show proof of travel. Passengers departing from TPA to destinations requiring a negative PCR test, the most accurate and broadly accepted internationally, are advised to take the test three days before departure and can expect results within 48 hours. Passengers should check to ensure they receive their test results in accordance with the requirements or guidelines for their destination.

Under law, BayCare reports all positive results to the Florida Department of Health.

For more information about Tampa International Airport's COVID-19 Passenger Testing Program, click here.

This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch