TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — During a press conference, Friday Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he has directed state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to allow licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests. This change comes in an effort to expand testing across the state
"We've got to figure out ways to make it as simple and accessible as possible," DeSantis said.
The reason for the expansion is to make things easier, DeSantis said. He hopes pharmacies across the state consider looking into offering COVID-19 testing; and, if they do, the governor said Florida stands ready to help.
"Allowing licensed pharmacists to be able to do this expands our capacity, makes testing more accessible for people and I think ultimately is the right thing to do," DeSantis said.
This announcement comes in a line of efforts DeSantis has spearheaded to provide Floridians more access to testing.
In April alone, DeSantis has opened new walk-up testing sites across the state to allow those who may not have access to a car to not miss out on an opportunity to be tested.
He also has deployed the National Guard teams to assist nursing home and assisted living facilities dealing with coronavirus outbreaks.
It's something that is familiar right here in the Tampa Bay area. Several nursing homes, Freedom Square, Braden River Rehabilitation, Riviera Palms Rehab and St. Mark Village, are reporting high numbers of COVID-19 cases within their facilities.
DeSantis also said the development of home testing kits is something he is also keeping an eye on, saying if they end up working well, the test would eliminate the dominant need for PPE.
"If they can just do it at home, put it in and mail it then you're able to have a sample and you haven't had to burn any of the PPE," DeSantis said.
As of today, the governor said around 320,000 Floridians have been tested for COVID-19.
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