On-campus COVID-19 testing program expanded to Florida Atlantic University

Image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow), also known as 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, an agency of the National Institutes of Health

A new COVID-19 testing site launched Friday at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, the latest example of a public university opening its campus for community testing.

Anyone over age 12, with or without symptoms, can get tested at FAU’s drive-through site but by appointment only.

State Rep. Emily Slosberg, a Democrat representing part of Palm Beach, welcomed the development in a written statement:

“The phased plan to reopen puts testing front and center as Palm Beach County’s best defense against waves of COVID-19 outbreaks,” she said in a written statement. “As we move into the next phase of response, more testing sites will mean that we will be better able to understand where this virus is, who has it, and to make sure we isolate cases.”

The testing site is a joint effort between American Medical Response, a medical transportation company; the Florida Division of Emergency Management; the university; and Palm Beach County government, according to a press release.

On Wednesday, the state announced that 1,702 of the more than 90,000 tests administered in Florida during May were “damaged in transit.” Officials offered no details, but said the people affected would need to be retested.

Florida A&M University, in Tallahassee, has extended its community testing site until June 1. The university has been offering walk-up testing since late April.

Organizers of FAMU’s site, which can conduct a maximum of 200 daily tests, include university leaders in public health and the Bond Community Health Center.

The University of Central Florida opened its second drive-through testing location in late April, offering up to 250 daily tests. Here is a previous Florida Phoenix report about public universities offering community testing for COVID-19.

Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.