A new COVID-19 test site at Tropicana Field opened Monday at 7 a.m. By 8:15, the site had reached capacity, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Health. The site will reopen Tuesday for more testing.
The announcement brought swift outrage on Twitter, with comments like “What happened to ‘anyone that needs a test can get a test?'” and “They ran out of tests in one hour? What did they expect?”
Mayor Rick Kriseman called the testing capacity “disappointing” in a Facebook post.
“We are working with the state to bring additional, expanded testing with Saturday and evening hours to another St. Pete site ASAP,” he said.
On Friday, BayCare announced a partnership with Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas County Department of Health to establish the drive-through COVID-19 collection site at Tropicana Field. Monday was the first day the site was open.
On June 22, 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.
When the site opens again Tuesday, it can be accessed through 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. It 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.