TAMPA, FL — The City of Tampa, along with the Florida Department of Health, will reopen the COVID-19 testing site at Al Lopez Park in West Tampa due to the increasing demand for tests, according to a news release.
The Al Lopez Testing Site will reopen Friday, Dec. 31 and run seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., including New Year’s day. The testing site will offer both the PCR and the rapid antigen tests.
“This is a highly contagious COVID variant hitting our community, and it’s important for all of us to take personal responsibility and take precautions to protect ourselves, family members, colleagues, and neighbors,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in a statement. “Vaccinations and boosters are the best protection from serious illness.”
Those getting tested will enter on the north side of the Park, pull into the parking lot and then walk up to the HUNT center to complete the test.
While specific appointment times will not be available on this walk-up site, residents can pre-register their contact information with the City of Tampa to receive their test results.
The Al Lopez Testing Site will offer testing only.
To get a COVID-19 vaccine, go to the West Tampa Community Resource Center, 2103 N. Rome Ave. in Tampa, operated by Hillsborough County.
This comes as Hillsborough County will open another location for residents to receive free COVID-19 testing on Thursday, Dec. 30, at the Progress Village Park site, 8701 Progress Blvd., Tampa.
That site will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week for residents who want a COVID test. No appointments are needed. The site will be closed Friday, Dec. 31, and Saturday, Jan. 1, for the New Year’s holiday.
Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay area are listed by the Centers for Disease Control as a substantial risk. As such, health experts recommend residents, even those who are fully vaccinated, wear a mask in indoor public places and in crowded outdoor settings.
Health experts also recommend staying home and not attending gatherings if:
You were exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
You have symptoms associated with COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
People with weakened immune systems are not fully protected even if they are vaccinated. They should continue to take all recommended Infection Prevention precautions, including wearing a well-fitted mask.
The average positivity rate over the past seven days for Hillsborough County is 13.7 percent.
Currently, 65.7 percent of Hillsborough County residents ages five and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Hillsborough County’s COVID-19 Dashboard.