TAMPA, Fla. — Cases of COVID-19 are surging across Florida, thanks in part to the delta variant. Science shows the variant is more contagious than other strains of the virus seen in the U.S. and is impacting people regardless of vaccination status.
The rise in cases has become concerning to the point that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its recommendation for indoor mask-wearing for vaccinated people living in areas where the virus is surging.
As a result, you might be wondering (once again) where you can get a COVID-19 test.
Back in May, Florida transitioned its state testing operations to locally-led efforts, meaning testing is being led by primary care providers, pharmacies, county health departments and local governments.
The state's division of emergency management said the network of local providers would ensure continued access to tests for those who want them.
Click any of the retail or health care provider links below for rapid testing locations and information related to your area:
Anyone looking to get a test can stop by the following locations between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each will be open seven days a week, according to the county.
- Palm River Park Community Center, 725 S. 58th St. in Tampa
- Hillsborough County Code Enforcement building, 1101 E. 139th Ave. in Tampa
Testing will occur indoors and is on a first-come-first-serve basis—up to 500 tests per day. The county adds that rapid tests are available to the public and PCR tests are available upon request.
Anyone attending will need to bring a photo ID, health insurance card and be masked up.
The city of Tampa is operating testing sites at the Cordelia B Hunt Center at Al Lopez Park, located at 4602 N. Himes Ave., and the Al Barnes Park parking lot, located at 3101 E. 21st Ave.
They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Both sites will offer PCR and rapid tests and are free for residents.
People are encouraged to register for a test online.
County and health officials are reopening the COVID-19 testing site at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.
The walk-up is located at its southwest parking lot, located at 1 Haben Blvd. in Palmetto. The site will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
No appointment is necessary to receive a free PCR or rapid test. However, people are asked to bring proof of Florida residency, such as a driver's license or utility bill.
The county's testing and vaccine site remains open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays at the Palmetto bus station.
The county has numerous locations where future patients can call ahead and set up a COVID-19 testing appointment. There are multiple CVS Pharmacy locations, Care One, Med Express and Walgreens Pharmacy locations where people can find a testing site close to them.
Update: The Gulf View Square Mall testing site will be closed Sunday, Aug. 15 in anticipation of Tropical Depression Fred. The site will reopen at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16.
The county announced it also will reopen the drive-through testing site at the Gulf View Square Mall, 9409 U.S. Highway 19, in Port Richey. It will be open at noon Tuesday and then operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week starting Wednesday.
Appointments are not required.
Other places to receive a COVID-19 test include:
- After Hours Pediatrics, 5400 Little Road, New Port Richey
- Doctor's Urgent Care, 13256 State Road 54, Odessa
- Wiregrass Direct Primary Care, 2726 Windguard Circle, Ste. 102, Wesley Chapel
The county's health department announced it will be opening a no-appointment
testing site on Monday, Aug. 9.
Anyone looking to get a test can stop by the following location:
COVID-19 antigen testing will be available at no cost from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
seven days a week until further notice, according to the county.
Those getting tested may be asked for health insurance information, but those without health insurance will not be turned away.
The county has numerous testing sites that will be set up for one day in different cities throughout the month of August. The pop-up locations do not require an appointment and have a drive-through testing option. You can find the complete list on the county's site.
There are additional locations that are ongoing but require an appointment.
- Ariana Clubhouse, 321 Ramsgate Road, Auburndale
Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You are asked to call 832-519-7910 to schedule an appointment.
- Lakeland Regional Health Health, 1324 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland
Drive-through testing center, D-E parking garage, LRH Medical Center
Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm, Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You are asked to call 863-413-5907 to schedule an appointment.
The county's Department of Health announced Sarasota-based Lab Services will open walk-up testing sites at Dallas White Park in North Port and the Robert L. Taylor Community Center in Sarasota.
Both open Monday, Aug. 9, and will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Testing is free to the public and no appointments are required.
Both sites will offer PCR and rapid antigen tests, the county said in a news release.
LEARN MORE: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the rapid antigen test also involves a nasal or throat swab, but results can happen in an hour or less.
That's opposed to a molecular test (nasal or throat swab), which can take a day or up to a week, or an antibody test (finger stick or blood draw), which can take up to a few days.