What Free COVID Testing Is Like at Miami Beach

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Since the beginning of May there has been free COVID testing at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It’s available every day from 9 am to 5 pm to anybody over 18. For the first month no one was taking them up on the offer. But as COVID cases in Florida have skyrocketed the lines to get tested at this site have gotten insane.  Whether it’s increased paranoia or the fact that many people are working jobs that require them to be tested, Miami Beach Convention Center has been mobbed.

The site offers drive-thru and walk-up testing.  The wait for the drive-thru at 17 Street and Convention Center Drive was close to four hours long last week. On a positive note up to five people per vehicle can be tested just as long as everyone is wearing a face covering, displaying a photo ID and is seated next to a working window. Drive-thru is the only way to get the antibody test which is available for free as well.

The walk-up COVID testing is within municipal parking lot P-29 located at 17 Street and Convention Center Drive.

They have also opened walk-up testing at the police station on 12th and Washington. Again you will have to bring a face covering and photo ID. The wait was much shorter for walk-up last week at about an hour long, but you will be under the sun for much of the wait at a six foot distance from the person in front of you and behind. Last week they were handing out complimentary bottled water for those waiting, but it’s not a bad idea to bring your own.

The masked workers were  strict especially with the policy that no photos are to be taken.  When you get to the front of the line, they copy the information from your ID and ask for your e-mail address for test results. The person who administers the test sticks a swab  into your nostril for ten seconds. It’s not painful, but is definitely uncomfortable. They then send you on your way. Test results they say will be called or e-mailed in 3-5 days.

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David Rolland

David Rolland edits the JitneyBooks.com blog. He is the author of the novel The End of the Century.