Marion reopens COVID-19 test site amid surge

A registered nurse with the Department of Health tests Steven Verdejo Jr., 16, during the COVID-19 drive-thru testing at the Florida Department of Health Marion County in this June, 2020 file photo. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
As cases of COVID-19 in Marion County and Florida continue to spike, the local Department of Health announced it is reopening a free, county-sponsored drive-through testing site at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion.

The site at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, served as a testing center previously until the DOH closed it down on May 26 after the number of local cases dropped significantly.

The site will open on Wednesdays in August and September. Testing will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are seeing a large increase in cases among residents who are not vaccinated,” said DOH in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and you are experiencing symptoms, get tested.”

People who would like to be tested can line their vehicles up starting at 7:30 a.m. on testing days. To be tested, individuals should bring a valid photo ID; those under 18 will only be tested if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

People should be prepared to stay in their vehicles while awaiting testing; restroom facilities will not be available. Only people who are being tested should be in the vehicle, except for parents, guardians or caregivers. No pets are permitted in the vehicle during tests. School students should refrain from eating or drinking anything 15 to 30 minutes prior to their tests.

For more information, call the Department of Health in Marion County at 352-644-2590.

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County provides COVID-19 vaccinations at its main office (1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala) and at sites across the community.

In August, the department will provide walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations Mondays through Wednesdays from 8–11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m. at its main office. Appointments for the main office are available Monday through Friday. To make an appointment for vaccination or obtain more information, call 352-644-2590.

Other upcoming vaccination opportunities through the Department of Health in Marion County include:

Thursdays, from July 29–Aug. 26:

From 9:30–11:30 a.m. at Rainbow Lakes Estates Oberman building (4040 SW Deepwater Court, Dunnellon)

From 1:30–3:30 p.m. at Marion Oaks Community Center (280 Marion Oaks Lane, Ocala)

Fridays, from July 30–Aug. 27:

From 3–6 p.m. at the McIntosh Civic Center (5835 Avenue F, McIntosh)

For more information on where you can get vaccinated for COVID-19, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator/.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
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