Friday, August 5 2022

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — One by one, Tampa Bay residents have waited their turn to get tested for COVID-19 after a busy holiday season.

“It didn’t take us too long,” said Ruchita Landsaria. “I would say 50 minutes, it wasn’t too bad. They were quite nice. They also gave us a bottle of water.

The Al Lopez Park COVID testing site is the only city-run site. Tom Wise told 8 On Your Side that this was his second time in line.

“I was out yesterday and the line seemed to be about half a mile long. I had to turn around after a few hours. I went to the test site in Rome. Three times, I was only tested twice because the queues were so long.

Both sites see thousands of people a day. Unfortunately, standing in the scorching sun became a struggle for many on Friday morning. Authorities said four people collapsed.

“I can see it,” Wise said, “because the line went on forever and ever.”

Tampa city leaders said they expect 3,000 to 5,000 people to come to the site each time the gates open. Wise thinks more sites need to open.

“It’s – I don’t want to say ridiculous, but let’s think about it,” he said. “We have been in this situation for a long time. It would be nice if the tests were readily available to everyone.

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