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Suncoast residents dealing with the good and the bad as COVID cases are spiking

Suncoast dealing with increase in COVID cases.
Suncoast dealing with increase in COVID cases.(WWSB)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:16 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - There are some good things and some bad things as COVID-19 cases continue to rise on the Suncoast.

“Does one believe in the science? I do,” said Michael Flanagan, a Longboat Key resident.

Flanagan is just one example of why nearly 100 percent of the thousands of residents on Longboat Key have been fully vaccinated. The number of COVID cases on the island remains very low.

“We feel good, our residents responded strong initially to make sure they did receive the vaccine,” said Tom Harmer, town manager for Longboat Key. “And continue to do so and still take a lot of the same precautions that we’ve talked about.”

Harmer went on to say that the success they’ve experienced comes from the constant messaging, the older population, and the proactive approach from residents. Despite this success, there’s still concern from Suncoast residents, especially since there’s been a dramatic rise in COVID cases.

Another big part of this story is a COVID testing site at the former dog racing track in Sarasota. It is bringing out a lot of people. Wait times at the site can be up to three hours.

Instead of racing greyhounds here, people are racing to get their COVID test done. Some have not been vaccinated, others have been fully vaccinated. Everyone just wants to make sure they don’t have COVID.

“I’ve been running a fever and hot sweats the last couple of days,” said Bonita Chambers, a Sarasota resident. “I had a cancer diagnosis a few days ago, came home last night and I was covered in sweat and I still got a fever. I had COVID in December and January.”

This COVID testing site is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

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