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Coronavirus testing site opens at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

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Posted at 10:38 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 17:47:26-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A large-scale drive-through coronavirus testing site opened Tuesday at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach.

"It has been a successful day," said Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth. "We are very, very happy with what occurred today, and we are going to continue that for the foreseeable future."

County officials said 255 people were tested on Tuesday, and 435 are scheduled to be screened on Wednesday.

"We are now scheduling closer to 500 a day for the next three days," said Darcy Davis, the Chief Executive Officer of the Palm Beach County Health Care District. "Tomorrow we will ramp up capacity."

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You can only get tested if you have an appointment, which you can schedule by calling 561-642-1000.

A staff member will screen you over the phone, asking about your symptoms, whether you've traveled recently, or if you've come in contact with anyone who has COVID-19.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you'll be given a time to go to the ballpark for your testing appointment.

County officials said the plan is to continue testing patients through at least Saturday, as long as the FITTEAM Ballpark site has enough test kits, supplies, and personal protective equipment.

"If we get additional kits assigned to us, yes, we will continue to run this particular site," said County Administrator Verdenia Baker.

Exclusive video from WPTV Chopper 5 showed about a dozen cars at the site around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, and things appeared to be moving efficiently.

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CHOPPER 5 VIDEO: Coronavirus testing site opens at FITTEAM Ballpark in West Palm Beach

"We usually are helping with hurricanes and natural disasters like that, but this is something that’s really new for us" said Spc. Kaylee Connolly with the Florida National Guard. "This a virus that’s affecting the whole world."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus | We're Open South Florida

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 514 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Palm Beach County.

57 people have been hospitalized because of the virus in the county, and 11 have died.

Now that the FITTEAM Ballpark testing location is open, officials said they expect to see a rise in the number of positive coronavirus cases in the county.

"That is actually a good thing, because now we will begin to know our real numbers," said Dr. Alina Alonso, the health director of Palm Beach County, at a news conference on Sunday.

A team of physicians, dentists, nurses, and medical support staff are conducting the drive-through tests at the ballpark.

Officials said test results will take about 72 hours to come back.

County leaders said they're looking at the possibility of opening a second testing site in southern Palm Beach County.

"We're working through all the mechanics of it to ensure that we're able to do it," said Baker.

For the latest information about coronavirus cases in Florida, click here.