TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa International Airport is offering COVID-19 testing, on the spot, and at a cost. Tampa International Airport CEO, Joe Lopano made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday.
“We’re going to build confidence on the part of the traveling public by giving them. Opportunity to have a test done right here at the airport before they get on a flight. This is the only airport in the whole country that is doing these tests for anybody going to any destination on any airline. Only TPA is doing this, and we hope others will follow. Testing is the key to getting people back to travel.” said Lopano.
The testing site, located inside the Main Terminal near the Airside F shuttle, will offer both the rapid antigen test and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. PCR nasal swab test results are the most accurate and broadly accepted internationally. Interested travelers will be able to purchase either test regardless of which airline they’re booked on, their gate location or destination.
As one of the leading health care systems in West Central Florida, BayCare was one of the first in the region to provide testing access to the community early in the pandemic. BayCare launched drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in March across the region in addition to testing in its hospital facilities. Since then, BayCare has tested more than 210,000 people for COVID-19.
“We’re proud to continue to work with local partners like TPA to expand access to COVID-19 testing,” said Nishant Anand, MD, executive vice president, and chief medical officer at BayCare Health System. “We believe testing plays a crucial role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing travelers for the virus could help mitigate any potential spread in airports and planes.”
The two tests are the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, $125.00, which is 95% accurate in predicting illness, and the antigen test with 88% accuracy, $57.00.
“I want to thank our partners at BayCare. They have been amazing partners for us and done a great job. And we think that this is going to be a very successful trial. This is just a test but we think that this, if it’s successful and we think it will be, we’ll continue and we’ll grow it and we’ll build it into something more,” Lopano said.