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DeSantis: Antibody Testing Starts Sat. at TIAA Bank Field; Long-Term Care Facility Designated

Gov. Ron DeSantis provided a COVID-19 update in Jacksonville Friday.

COVID-19 antibody testing will start Saturday outside of TIAA Bank Field, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who made the announcement Friday at Dolphin Pointe Health Care near Jacksonville University.

“We’re going to be offering antibody testing for healthcare workers and for first responders,” the governor said, adding, “we’re able to do a hundred people a day.”

Related: City of Jacksonville testing locations and details

DeSantis held the news conference at Dolphin Pointe, which is a long term-care facility next to the JU campus. He said Dolphin Pointe is serving as a secure location in Jacksonville that will exclusively care for medically stable COVID-19 positive patients who normally reside at other long-term care facilities.

The idea is that stringent safety protocols are in place at Dolphin Pointe to protect staff and patients that may not be available at all long-care facilities.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

The governor said that not all long-term facilities have the ability to isolate their patients appropriately, which, according to the governor, runs a risk of creating an outbreak in the facilities. "And so here at Dolphin Pointe those residents are able to come here in a secure environment, in an environment where they're able to effectively isolate COVID positive patients and obviate a  outbreak at some of these other facilities.”

DeSantis said Dolphin Pointe is currently caring for 17 COVID-19 positive patients. He said officials believe another seven will test positive in the next 24 to 48 hours at the facility.

The governor said Dolphin Pointe is also taking in patients from other parts of the region, pointing out one patient is from Monticello.

DeSantis said the Division of Emergency Management has sent 10 million masks, a million gloves and halfa million face shields to thousands of long-term care facilities in Florida.

At the time of this story’s publication there were 39,199 total COVID-19 cases in Florida with 1,669 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health. In Duval there were 1,088 cases with 29 deaths.

News4Jax Video Of Gov. DeSantis' Jacksonville News Conference

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.