Health Department offering drive-through specimen collection for COVID-19 as of March 27, but physician referrals necessary

Site set up at Twin Lakes Park near I-75 in Sarasota

Twin Lakes Park is on Clark Road. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Working in partnership, the Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH Sarasota), Sarasota County Government and Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) have established a COVID-19 appointment-only, drive-through specimen collection site for symptomatic people who meet current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testing guidance, the Health Department announced on March 26.

Specimens collected at the site will be sent to labs for testing, a news release says.

“Visitors to the Sarasota County COVID-19 testing site must be referred by a physician,” the release emphasizes. “The physician’s office will contact DOH Sarasota,” which then will contact the individual with an appointment day and time, the release explains.

The site will be open from 8 a.m. to noon as of Friday, March 27.

The site has been set up at Twin Lakes Park, located at 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota, the release notes.

DOH Sarasota stresses these reminders in the release:

  • Individuals being tested must be in a vehicle. No walk-ups will be allowed.
  • Persons must remain in vehicles at all times.
  • Each visitor must present a photo ID and prescription for specimen collection, written by his or her health care provider. (The name on the ID and the name on the prescription must match.)

Sarasota County residents who believe they may have COVID-19 are asked to call the Sarasota County COVID-19 call center at 941-861-2883 “BEFORE visiting a hospital emergency room or health care provider,” the release emphasizes.

“If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community,” the release points out.

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride sharing, or taxis.

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