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New Coronavirus Testing Sites To Open In Jax As Number Of Cases Continues To Rise

Someone getting tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru testing site, someone reaching into a car where a patient is, while dressed in a mask and gown and gloves.
John Raoux
/
Associated Press
Someone getting tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru testing site, someone reaching into a car where a patient is, while dressed in a mask and gown and gloves.

Four new city-funded coronavirus testing sites are scheduled to come online next week in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Chief of Staff Jordan Elsbury said those testing sites would be in Arlington, Mandarin, Regency, and at the Beaches.

“Simply put, the more data we have, the more people that get tested, the better. With a more representative sample we have a more accurate understanding of how this virus is spreading and affecting our community. This will assist greatly in stopping the spread,” Elsbury said during a news conference on Friday.

The Jim Fortuna Senior Center at Ed Austin Park at 11751 McCormick Road in Arlington will open for testing on Monday at 7 a.m. and will be open for testing every Monday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the next six months. Details on the other new testing facilities will be released next week.

The city expects to be able to test as many as 5,000 people every day with the addition of the new testing sites.

Despite the recent spike in cases and rising positive rate, Mayor Lenny Curry said he has no plans to roll back the reopening process.

“We’ve got to learn to live with this virus,” Mayor Curry said. “Continual lockdowns are not sustainable, they’re not healthy on many fronts - economically and in personal health - and frankly, people won’t stand for it at this point.”

As of Friday afternoon, the Florida Department of Health has reported 744 new cases of COVID-19 in Duval County since Thursday, bringing the total here to nearly 12,000 positive cases and 74 related deaths.

State data show the positive testing rate is at about 8.9% in Jacksonville.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.