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Jacksonville's five testing sites funded at least through summer

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Telescope Health
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A Telescope Health drive-thru testing site.

Duval’s only city-funded, rapid COVID testing site will stay open until at least this summer, and it won’t be limiting tests anymore. 

The Neptune Beach location ran out of tests by 11 a.m. every day for the past week. 

Jacksonville’s chief administrative officer, Brian Hughes, told City Council the site, operated by Telescope Health, should start testing as many people as it can from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Wednesday.

"They should be able to go back to as many as they can serve in the day rather than throttling back on the number," Hughes said.

City Council won’t pay for the COVID testing extension to this summer, as they were originally warned

The city is now seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund its five testing sites.

The extension also comes as state officials try to crack down on people getting tested when they don't have COVID symptoms.

In contrast to federal guidance, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo have criticized Floridians for routinely seeking testing and issued guidance limiting who they think should get tested.

Claire joined WJCT as a reporter in August 2021. She was previously the local host of NPR's Morning Edition at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926 or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.