Coronavirus Resources

Dear Friend,

As the COVID-19 outbreak grinds American life to a halt, many Central Floridians are rightfully concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones.  I frequently receive questions about how to get tested for COVID-19 and what to do if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of the disease.  So, I am writing today to share critical information as it relates to seeking medical attention during this pandemic. 

Priorities for COVID-19 Testing

According to guidance from CDC, while health care providers should use their judgment on which patients should be tested for COVID-19, CDC has indicated the following as priorities for testing:

  • Hospitalized patients and health care workers with signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19;
  • Other symptomatic individuals, such as patients in long-term care facilities, patients 65 years of age and older, patients with underlying health conditions, and first responders; and
  • Health care personnel and critical infrastructure workers, as well as any symptomatic individuals who do not meet any of the above categories and individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Why Is It So Difficult to Get a Test?

Rather than utilizing the test distributed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed its own test but has struggled to make it widely available.  After a possible contamination in CDC’s test that resulted in inconclusive results, CDC had to roll-back faulty tests, causing delays. 

Although Congress allocated $140 billion to support the efforts of the CDC, National Institutes of Health, and state and local public health agencies to make testing more readily available, labs still have limited capacity to actually conduct the tests.  With many global supply chains cutting off exports of domestically-produced medical supplies, the US has faced shortages of various supplies needed for testing, such as cotton swabs.  Similarly, there are bottlenecks in our ability to quickly confirm test results—the stable substances needed to safely transport tests to a lab, extraction kits used to isolate viral specimens, and substances used to determine whether a test is positive are all in short supply.

What to Do If You or Someone You Know is Experiencing Symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your health care provider before seeking medical care.  This is important to protect you and to keep your community safe.  If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19—including but not limited to difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face—seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.

Testing Sites Near You

Central Florida testing sites are run by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Tests are available to any individual, regardless of age, with an on-site temperature above 99.6 and respiratory symptoms or an underlying health condition.  Additionally, all health care workers, first responders, and individuals who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive are eligible to be tested, regardless of symptoms.  For more information on criteria to qualify for testing, click here.

  • Orange County Convention Drive-Through Testing Site
    • Orange County Convention Center – North Concourse Parking Lot (9400 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819)
    • Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Tests are available on a first-come, first-served basis and at no cost.
    • This testing site is for residents throughout the region, not just Orange County residents.
  • UCF Drive-Through Testing Site in Partnership with Aventus Biolabs
    • UCF Main Campus – Parking Garage A (12491 University Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816)
    • Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Tests available by appointment only.
    • Call (855) 282-4860 to schedule an appointment.
    • For more information, click here.
  • AdventHealth Drive-Through Testing Site at The Mall at Millenia
    • The Mall at Millenia (4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839)
    • Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Tests available by appointment only and at no cost.
    • Register online to schedule an appointment.
    • For more information, click here.
  • Florida Department of Health in Orange County Mobile Testing Sites
    • Tests available by appointment only and at no cost.
    • Must be a resident of Orange County and 18+ years old.
    • Call (407) 723-5004 to schedule an appointment.
    • Mobile sites will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will alternate each day.
      • Thursday, April 23 – Barnett Park (4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808)
      • Friday, April 24 – West Orange Park (150 Windermere Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787)
    • For the most up to date information, click here.
  • Florida Department of Health in Seminole County Community Testing Sites
    • Tests available on a first-come, first-served basis to all residents, regardless of symptoms.
    • Must be a resident of Seminole County and bring valid identification.
    • Tests are available at no cost, however patients with insurance should bring insurance cards.
    • Sites will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will alternate each day.
      • Thursday, April 23 – Goldsboro, Westside Community Center (919 South Persimmon Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771)
      • Friday, April 24 – Lincoln Heights, Journeys Academy (1722 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32771)
      • Monday, April 27 – Bookertown Community Center (4631 Gilbert Street, Sanford, FL 32771)
      • Tuesday, April 28 – Georgetown, Historic Sanford Stadium (1201 Mellonville Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771)
      • Wednesday, April 29 – Jamestown, Rockhill Missionary Baptist Church (3036 Weston St, Oviedo, FL 32765)
    • For the most up to date information, click here.

As a reminder, my office stands ready to help you.  My casework team is available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (888) 205-5421.  For the most up to date information, please visit my website at murphy.house.gov/coronavirus and sign up for my newsletter to get updates sent directly to your inbox.

Stay safe, and stay healthy. 


Sincerely,

Stephanie Murphy
Member of Congress

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