BOCA RATON, Fla. — A state lawmaker took her plea for a new coronavirus testing site in Boca Raton straight to the Palm Beach County Commission.
State Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, said she's frustrated with COVID-19 testing in parts of her district in southern Palm Beach County.
"It's like you almost have to be dead to get the test," she told commissioners. "I just want to make it very clear that we should be putting these testing places where there's clusters of our older population. That's who needs this testing."
Slosberg addressed commissioners with emotion just days after she wrote a letter to Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner asking for more help in what she called "one of the hardest hit cities in the state."
"This is where we have our most demand," she said. "This is where we have most of our elderly. We have over 26,000 residents over the age of 65 living in the city of Boca Raton."
State health data reviewed by Contact 5 showed 462 confirmed cases in Boca Raton, the second highest number of confirmed cases countywide, second only to West Palm Beach.
To meet demand, Palm Beach County and several of its partners opened a testing site at the South County Civic Center in western Delray Beach on April 7 and have performed more than 3,500 tests, according to county data.
Despite its close proximity to Boca Raton, Slosberg said that one location is not enough, citing a stringent testing criteria.
"They sit on the phone just for an hour just to be told that they can't get a test at the south county civic site, which means they have to drive 40 minutes or 33 miles to the FITTTEAM Ballpark," Slosberg said.
Slosberg told Cotact 5 that county officials told her they'll look to expand criteria for the south county testing site and more testing in the Boca Raton area.