Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visits JAXPORT, discusses push to improve COVID-19 testing results turnaround time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was at JAXPORT on Thursday afternoon to discuss the state’s fight against COVID-19.

DeSantis said there is an issue with how long it’s taking some places to get COVID-19 test results. He said labs across the state are running into a backlog.

He said the labs contracted by the state for testing were aiming for a turnaround time of 48 hours, but it’s taking longer than expected in some cases.

Jacksonville’s new federal sites say people can expect results in three to five business days.

“You’re seeing turnaround times that’s just taking a lot longer, tests get backlogged, they’re going every which way, and so, we want to figure out, okay, how can we address that?” DeSantis said.

One solution DeSantis mentioned is to create dedicated testing lanes for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The goal would be to get those results back in 72 hours.

According to the state, there were 409 new COVID-19 hospitalizations since Wednesday.

Right now, the state does not break down those numbers by individual hospitals.

Three local hospitals have declined to provide this information to Action News Jax.

Action News Jax’s Ryan Nelson tried to ask DeSantis about this during the press briefing, but he was not called upon so Nelson asked as DeSantis left the building:

“Governor, when will COVID-19 specific ICU data be released? Governor, when will COVID-19 specific ICU data be released?”

The Governor said there were “Three C’s” Floridians should avoid, which include: closed spaces, crowds and close contact.