BayCare Briefly Closes Pinellas COVID-19 Testing Site
Growing demand for testing requires more space
Clearwater, Fla., (June 22, 2020) – BayCare Health System is moving the location of its COVID-19 drive-thru test collection site in Pinellas County after growing demand led to disruptions for neighboring businesses.
Effective immediately, the site in the parking lot in the Carillon office complex in north St. Petersburg is closed with a new site expected to be announced by the end of the week.
In the past week, demand for testing at BayCare’s Carillon location has more than tripled. The drive-thru site was in the parking lot of a building that includes a BayCare Urgent Care Center and several other medical offices.
“We don’t want to do this, but we need to find a better location,” said Glenn Waters, chief operating officer for BayCare Health System. “We need to find a place where we can increase capacity but also have a safe environment for our patients, our team members and the public.
“We apologize for any inconvenience to our patients,” Waters said.
BayCare is in discussions for several possible Pinellas locations and hopes to have a resolution this week, Waters said. Individuals in Pinellas County who need to get testing immediately can find other options at Pinellas County's COVID-19 website.
BayCare’s other two drive-thru sites in Polk and Pasco counties will continue to operate on their regular schedule. In Hillsborough County, BayCare team members help operate the drive-thru testing site at Raymond James Stadium, which is organized by Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa.
BayCare has been operating COVID-19 drive-thru test collection sites in West Central Florida for 14 weeks and was the first in the region to do so. As of Monday, more than 23,500 people have been tested through the BayCare sites, including more than 700 at the Carillon site in the past two days of operation.
BayCare’s drive-thru sites serve patients with a doctor’s referral or those who are symptomatic in order to reserve limited testing supplies for those who are most at risk. Individuals who show up at a drive-thru site without a doctor’s referral are screened based on guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those who meet criteria have a specimen collected for testing.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org.