FDOH: Increased Testing Leads To Additional COVID-19 Cases In Escambia County

March 23, 2020

The Florida Department of Health said increased sample collection and testing led to the announcement Sunday of three new confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Escambia County for an overall total of four.

The local health department said the number of cases in Escambia County is expected to change daily due to the return of results from ongoing testing.

By Friday, Sacred Heart Hospital had tested about 800 people since they started drive-thru COVID-19 testing on March 16, and the first results from those tests are expected back.

Those first tests were sent to another laboratory in Jacksonville, leading to the delay. However, Dawn Rudolph, president of Ascension Sacred Heart, said as of Friday that they are moving the tests to the hospital’s in-house laboratory which is able to analyze 50 tests per day due to equipment limitations.

RELATED STORY: Here’s What We Know About The Eight Positive COVID-19 Cases In Escambia, Santa Rosa

Health care providers in Escambia County, Florida are collaborating to make testing available to those for whom testing is indicated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Contact tracing will be conducted for those individuals who have tested positive. Contact tracing is a frequently-used public health tool for tracking and preventing the spread of disease. Epidemiologists work to find everyone who has been in contact with the positive case. Persons identified to be at-risk through the contact tracing process are interviewed, evaluated, and educated on their risk factors and what they need to do next.

Rudolph said she believes some percentage of the 800 people tested will be positive. She told the Escambia County Commission Friday afternoon that over 2,800 people called the testing hotline, but many did not meet the testing qualifications based upon a series of questions.

Persons interested in Sacred Heart’s drive-thru testing much first call (850) 746-2684 to be pre-screened. If they meet the criteria for testing, they will be provided more information on the test and location. The screening call center is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The drive-thru test center is open 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.


3 Responses to “FDOH: Increased Testing Leads To Additional COVID-19 Cases In Escambia County”

  1. David Huie Green on March 24th, 2020 1:33 am

    Do not eat raw meat at this time (or ever?).
    Wash your hands before meals, sucking your thumbs, picking your noses…and after.
    Avoid kissing spring breakers…no matter how tempting; fight them off if that’s what it takes…without getting close and/or touching them, of course.

    Live long and prosper

  2. Lee on March 23rd, 2020 11:58 am

    Wonder if we’ll hear if any cases are related to the spring breakers who were permitted to continue congregating at the beach for a week after folks were being told to stay home.

  3. Estrella Nueva on March 23rd, 2020 11:27 am

    Grocery stores still not requiring gloves for in store and guest workers including meat depth workers.

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