Duval Florida Dept of Health explains the reasons you do and do not need to buy a COVID-19 test

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the delta variant continues to be a great concern for health officials and some people, the demand for a COVID-19 test is increasing.

On Thursday and Friday, the Duval County Florida Department of Health saw long lines of people wrapped around its building. Over the last month, a spokesperson says, they’ve seen a steady increase in foot traffic.

On average, about 300 people per day are coming out.

Some people are getting a test because they’ve been exposed or have symptoms.

For others, it’s paranoia, and a negative test brings them relief.

So, when should you get a test?

We took your questions straight to the Florida Department of Health in Duval County.

Action News Jax reporter, Meghan Moriarty, spoke one-on-one with Tawanda Washington, the assistant director of nursing, covering disease control clinics at the Central Health Plaza location.

”We are encouraging everyone who is unvaccinated that has symptoms to get tested,” Washington said.

“If you are vaccinated, and you do not have symptoms, and you have not been exposed--there is not a reason to get tested right now.”

Washington said if you are vaccinated and you develop COVID-like symptoms or you were exposed to someone who contracted the virus, you should get a test.

Moriarty asked what people should do if they have not been exposed, but they have common cold symptoms, like sniffles or a cough.

”For people that are vaccinated-- if they do develop any symptoms, because we know that the symptoms for COVID do vary and are similar to those in the flu or summer cold-- get tested,” Washington said.

The Florida Department of Health’s Central Health Plaza location on 6th Street in Hogan’s Creek is offering free testing Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. No appointment needed.

To find a testing site near you, click here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages unvaccinated people to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and avoid large crowds.