As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise – with South Florida leading the state in confirmed cases – FIU is partnering with Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health, and the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition to open a COVID-19 testing site.
The new drive-thru testing site is scheduled to open on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at the fairgrounds. The entrance is located on Southwest 107th Ave and 17th Street. Testing, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week, is by appointment only.
Appointments must be made by calling 305-499-8767. The call center opens at 9 a.m. and takes appointments for the following day until all 300 slots are filled. The call center then closes until the next day at 9 a.m. To qualify for testing, a person must be at least 18 years old and have symptoms associated with COVID-19.
“At FIU we look for opportunities to help people and heal our community,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “Opening a COVID-19 testing site allows us to do both. It is our hope that this partnership helps bring about a measure of comfort and access to our community.”
FIU researchers will be testing a simple algorithm developed by doctors at FIU to triage patients.
“There is still a lot that we can learn and maybe even lives that we can save by widespread testing,” said CEO of the FIU HealthCare Network and Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) Associate Dean Dr. Eneida Roldan, who will serve as clinical director for the testing site. “We are seeing that patients whose lung function is compromised are deteriorating very quickly. It is extremely important to be able to identify them right away.”
HWCOM staff will supervise the clinical operations, which will include volunteer faculty and students from the medical school, the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences, and the Robert Stempel College of Social Work & Public Health. The FIU Division of Operations and Safety will provide operational and logistical oversight with support from Miami-Dade County.
“I want to thank our partners at FIU and the Florida Department of Health for working with us to launch this testing site at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition grounds,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “This new site gives our residents access to the testing they need so that we can save lives and continue working to flatten the curve of COVID-19.”