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UPDATED: Gov. DeSantis Touts Broward Testing Site; 432 Cases, 9 Deaths in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference at the Broward County Mobile Testing Site at C.B. Smith Park Thursday afternoon.

DeSantis said that 2,500 test kits and 4,000 collection swabs have been distributed throughout the state.

“We’re living through the biggest crunch in supply and demands for medical supplies that we’ve ever seen in his country,” the governor explained.

The mobile testing site is being operated by the National Guard and should be able to conduct several hundred tests each day, according to DeSantis. The samples taken there will be shipped to a private lab, where they will be refrigerated before being tested. The site is drive-thru only, and will not accept pedestrians or bikers.

The governor says the process takes roughly eight minutes per vehicle, and testing will focus on healthcare workers and people ages 65 and over who are symptomatic.

Testing samples were initially sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), resulting in a week-long wait for people to receive their results. According to DeSantis, the Broward testing model will be replicated throughout the state if it proves successful.

As of Thursday evening, the state has 432 positive cases of coronavirus, with 29 in Palm Beach County, 96 in Broward County, and 101 in Miami-Dade County. That makes South Florida the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. Officials increased Florida’s death toll to nine after a patient died in Duval County. They added there are no mandatory quarantine or isolation orders in the state at this time.

The revised count includes one new case of the coronavirus in Indian River County.

The state’s website says that patient is a woman, but it is unclear if the case is travel related.

Earlier on Thursday, health officials confirmed the Treasure Coast’s first case of the virus in Martin County.

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