Florida lags behind 20 other states in coronavirus testing. Experts say more tests can slow spread

Florida lags behind 20 other states in coronavirus testing. Experts say more tests can slow spread

Tests for the coronavirus are being offered at some private clinics, but tests are still scarce. Requesting a test doesn’t mean a patient will get one. Wochit More: Labs are testing 100,000 people each day for the coronavirus. That’s still not enough. More: Top AZ health official tells primary care providers: Stop testing for COVID-19, reuse protective equipment Florida is behind 20 other states , including neighboring Louisiana and Mississippi, when it comes to testing its residents for coronavirus. Testing is crucial to limiting the spread of the pandemic. Yet Floridians around the state, including the most vulnerable, report significant difficulties getting tested. It’s not exactly clear why Florida is behind others in testing. But it is more restrictive than some states, such as Tennessee, which announced this week that it would allow anyone — if they have symptoms or not — to get tested for COVID-19. Florida’s Department of Health directs people who suspect they have the virus to their local health professional. Only those who meet certain guidelines get the test: symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, contact with an infected person or travel to an impacted country. NCH Baker Hospital staff check documentations from community members wishing to be tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday, March 16, 2020, at NCH Baker Hospital in Naples. (Photo: Jon Austria/Naples Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA) Even people with coronavirus symptoms have found it hard to get tested. Nicole Buchanan fought for days to get her husband tested for COVID-19 after he tested negative for the flu yet kept getting worse. Conrad Buchanan, a Fort Myers disc jockey, died March 26. “None of the testing sites wanted to take him,” she said. “He was only 39.” More: ‘He was healthy. He was fine’: Wife of […]

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