Venice residents flocking to new COVID testing site

First day of new COVID testing site in Venice attracts lots of people.
First day of new COVID testing site in Venice attracts lots of people.(WWSB)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:05 AM EST
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VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - People were lining up to take advantage of a new COVID-19 testing site now open at the Venice Community Center on Nokomis Avenue.

Despite the long line of cars, it was a welcome relief for many residents who live in the middle and southern parts of Sarasota County.

“We live three minutes away so it’s super-convenient,” said Rafael Costa. “We went to get tested a month ago in Sarasota and the wait was, like, five to seven hours -- absurd.”

Wait times for the first day at this site were anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, with the line moving right along. It started as a walk-up site and changed over to a drive-thru site.

“We’re hoping to see some of the long wait lines start diminishing a little bit and it’s really another resource for the community,” said Steve Huard, a spokesperson for the Sarasota County Health Department. “Folks won’t have to drive so far if they are in midcounty.”

They are offering the PCR test at this site. Most people ABC7 talked with say they weren’t feeling well, so that’s what brought them out here to be tested.

“To make sure I’m not positive, I’ve been coughing and stuff, so I need to get checked out,” said Barbara Whitman, a Venice resident.

This COVID testing site at the Venice Community Center is one of five now available in Sarasota County. It is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No appointment is necessary and it is free.

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