Hundreds line up for COVID-19 testing

OKEECHOBEE — Three hundred Okeechobee residents lined up to be tested for the COVID-19 virus at the New St. Stephen AME Church on Saturday.

“The New St. Stephen AME Church and the Delagall Foundation would like to thank everyone who assisted in the advertisement, processing and administrating the of the free COVID-19 testing and mask distribution held on Saturday, June 27,” said Rosia Dobbins. “You are greatly appreciated.”

The testing event had been advertised to start at 10 a.m., but people were lined up hours earlier, she explained. They started testing a little after 9 a.m., and stayed until they ran out of test kits around 1 p.m.

In addition to testing 300 individuals, the organizers handed out more than 3,000 cloth masks.

“We were very proud of how it went, and very happy with the turnout,” Dobbins continued. At the end of the day, realizing they were nearing the end of the test kits, organizers counted how many people were still in line, and had to turn some away.

County and state officials should realize there is a need for more testing in Okeechobee County and provide testing for anyone who wishes to be tested. Those who do not have symptoms could be COVID-19 positive and not realize it, she said. These people could unknowingly be spreading the virus to others.

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