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Coronavirus: Jacksonville to receive rapid testing kits

Gov. Ron DeSantis says Jacksonville and South Florida will share in 2,000 of the first rapid coronavirus diagnostic test with a detection time of 45 minutes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville will be getting some newly approved, rapid testing kits to detect the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Saturday afternoon. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis says Jacksonville and South Florida will share in 2,000 of the first rapid coronavirus diagnostic test with a detection time of 45 minutes. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved an emergency use authorization for test developed by Cepheid, based in California.

The test is intended to be used primarily in hospitals and emergency rooms. The company planned to begin shipping it this week, reported Medscape, an online medical news site on March 23.

Jared Moskowitz, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, secured the test kits for the state, DeSantis said during a news media conference Saturday in Tallahassee.

“They only did 10,000 of them [tests] to start, and I am happy to say Jared got over 2,000 of those for Florida,” DeSantis said.

RELATED: LIVE BLOG | 9 deaths, 239 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the First Coast

“So, we’re sending them down to South Florida as well as some to Jacksonville,” said DeSantis, who didn’t say how many Jacksonville will get.

“I think this is really, really significant because the problem with the testing that we have now is that these private labs are overrun,” he said. “A lot of people have to wait three, four, five days to be able to be able to get test results.”

Quick results, he said, allows hospitals, doctors and other health care professionals to do a better job.

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