Jacksonville mayor: Funding to increase capacity at city-run COVID-19 testing sites

Mayor Lenny Curry said location hours will remain the same, but this additional funding will allow sites to stay in operation through the summer.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The City of Jacksonville said Tuesday that it has identified additional funding to increase testing capacity at city-run sites.

Last Tuesday, January 4th, Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole sent an email to the City of Jacksonville ask what their plan was to respond to COVID-19 testing demand. The response she received said in part, “We will ask the council next Tuesday for emergency funding to increase the number of tests at the Neptune Beach location and allow them to continue operation.

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Fast forward to Tuesday -- Mayor Lenny Curry no longer needs City Council to vote tonight for the $5 million to expand testing capacity.

The message sent out by the City this afternoon, is below.

“Due to increasing demand, we have identified additional funding to increase the testing capacity at the City of Jacksonville testing sites. Location hours will remain the same, but this additional funding will allow sites to stay in operation through the summer,” Curry said in a news release. “It is crucial that citizens have the opportunity to access testing to help fight the spread of COVID-19.”

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City Councilman Reggie Gaffney, a member of the Finance Committee, told Cole he got an update from the administration yesterday.

“I was told that administration was blessed, they reached out to the federal government for some more COVID relief funding and the government said yes,” Gaffney said.

Cole also spoke to City Councilman Matt Carlucci, who is also a member on the Finance Committee.

He further explained that the City’s Emergency Operations met with consultants about the COVID-19 funding issue. This group recommended the administration use money from a COVID account the City already has to resolve the issue – and then wait to be reimbursed by FEMA.

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Right now, it’s unclear how much money is in that account.

Action News Jax Courtney Cole sent an e-mail to the city, asking when they learned they’d be able to get the $5 million from the federal government and when it will be available -- but she is still waiting to hear back.

With the rise in the omicron variant, city testing sites like the one in Neptune Beach have often been reaching capacity before closing for the day. Action News Jax is working to find out what the new capacity at city-run testing sites will be.

Agape Family Health and Telescope Health, which have previously managed testing sites for the City of Jacksonville, will continue to operate these three facilities:

Lane Wiley Senior Center

6710 Wiley Rd. – 32210

Testing, Monday-Friday 9am – 6 pm and Saturdays 9 am – 4 pm (PCR testing only)

Vaccines, 7 days a week 9 am – 6 pm (includes pediatrics and boosters)

Clanzel T. Brown Community Center

4545 Moncrief Rd. – 32209

Testing, Monday-Friday 9am – 6 pm and Saturdays 9 am – 4 pm (PCR testing only)

Vaccines, 7 days a week 9 am – 6 pm (includes pediatrics and boosters)

Beaches Location (former Kmart shopping center)

540 Atlantic Blvd. – 32266

Rapid and PCR testing, Monday-Friday 7 am – 3 pm

The City of Jacksonville also provides the following locations for testing and vaccines that are operated by the Department of Health, Duval County:

Emmett Reed Community Center

1093 W. 6th St. – 32209

Testing and Vaccines, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 6 pm and Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm (PCR testing, vaccines for pediatrics and boosters)

Cuba Hunter Community Center

4380 Bedford Rd – 32207

Testing and Vaccines, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm (PCR testing, vaccines for pediatrics and boosters)

Visit www.JaxReady.com for a complete listing of COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites around Jacksonville.

For more information on free testing sites in our area, click this link.