Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas County Department of Health are teaming up with BayCare Health System to establish a drive-through COVID-19 collection site at Tropicana Field. It will open to the public Monday.
“Working together within our local community is how we will get on the other side of this global pandemic,” Mayor Rick Kriseman said in a statement Friday. “With both public and private partners, we will expand access to testing which is critical to beating this virus. My thanks to all our partners for everything they are doing for the health and safety of our citizens.“
On Monday, BayCare announced it was moving its Carillon drive-through collection site due to disruptions to other businesses located in the same office complex. The testing site had seen demand more than triple over the previous week, with more than 700 tests administered in its last two days of operation.
Several locations were considered for the new testing site, but the group decided to accept an offer from the Tampa Bay Rays to use the Tropicana Field parking lots.
“We so appreciate that the Tampa Bay Rays embraced this idea and are joining us to serve the community,” said Jim Cote, senior vice president for BayCare Ambulatory Services. “From the very beginning of this pandemic, we’ve known that a key requirement of fighting this virus would be making sure individuals have access to testing to confirm whether they have it.”
The drive-through site will use Lot 2, on the west side of the stadium off 16th St. South. Cars will be directed to an entrance on 3rd Ave. South, which is west of 16th Street.
During the week of June 29, the site will operate Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. In subsequent weeks, the site would operate Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m.
Patients are encouraged to bring a referral from a medical provider. Those who don’t will be screened based on CDC guidelines. Testing will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis with a daily cap based on supplies.