DeSantis said that the distribution of these tests will start with the populations most vulnerable at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
“Today, we’re here to announce an initiative related to at-home testing. As many of, you know, the federal government had promised to send massive amounts of that into American communities. Actually promised that you could go online request one and they would just mail it to your home. That is not materialized,” said DeSantis.
“I know the tests are scarce, but we’ve been able to work to quarter some,” said DeSantis. “We have the ability to send out up to a million at-home tests.”
DeSantis said that the state distribution will focus on getting these tests to senior-heavy communities and if you’re young and healthy you don’t need to be running out and getting tested every day and that testing is supposed to lead to a clinical result.
State Surgeon General Joe Lapado said the COVID testing that’s been happening over the last year has been abnormal. Testing healthy people with no symptoms is not a standard course in medicine.
“What’s abnormal is testing people for a respiratory virus, when they have no symptoms on a massive scale is abnormal.” said Lapado “What we did before this pandemic is what was normal. Which is if you have symptoms, we’ll test you. And you know, if you test positive, we’ll treat you like, that’s how it’s been.”
Kevin Guthrie of the Division of Emergency Management said that tests to nursing homes will start shipping today.
“I can tell you that starting today, each and every nursing home and long-term care facility will start to receive the tests. We will ship those products out today and they will start to receive them over the weekend and that will happen,” said Guthrie.
DeSantis added that the general public, particularly the working-age and school-age populations, that a symptoms-based testing approach is the better way.
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