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    National Guard opens Community Based Testing Site at C.B Smith Park

    Task Force-Medical Community Based Testing Site

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Leia Tascarini | Local authorities direct traffic into the Community Based Testing Site C.B. Smith...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Leia Tascarini 

    107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – (March 20, 2020) – Florida National Guard Soldiers and Airmen opened South Florida’s first COVID-19 drive-thru Community Based Testing Site today.

    “Our mission is to support the state of Florida and the Department of Emergency Management, to help manage this crisis in whatever capacity they ask; with our medical capabilities we are being asked to man these super sites in support of the state,” said U.S. Army Col. Robert “Bob” Carruthers, Joint Task Force Command with the FLNG. “We have great troops, well trained and well equipped.”

    The test will be limited to first responders, people over the age of 65 and to those who are symptomatic. Medics with the FLNG will be collecting specimens to send for testing. The site has five operational lanes to assist local citizens; however, the CBTS will not be able to support those on bikes, pedestrians or animals. The FLNG is also providing translators for those who do not speak English.

    People that need to be tested will enter the park via Johnson Street. Service members will direct vehicles through the park to a screening station. Nurses, wearing personal protective equipment, will provide a questionnaire and screen prospective patients while they remain in their vehicles. If the person meets the criteria, the nurse will provide a placard in the windshield and the patient will continue to the testing area. If the person does not meet the criteria, they will be directed to the exit.

    “Medics will be testing and helping high risk citizens get taken care of,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. William McNeil, a combat medic with 1-153rd Cavalry Regiment, Panama City, Florida. “Communication is key in this environment, things change and we change with them so the medical mission is accomplished.”

    Once the patient arrives at the testing area they will be met by a scribe who will fill out test kit documentation, this will then be handed off to another service member to assist a medic wearing a protective suit, gloves, mask and goggles, who will collect a sample by swabbing the nostril. Once the sample is collected, it will be placed in a biohazard bag and refrigerated until it can be moved to a lab for testing.

    Test results are likely to be available within three to four days and will be provided to the Florida Department of Health, which will then notify the patient.

    First responders should bring a form of ID for verification purposes. First responders include: police officers, firefighters, medical staff and essential staff that support components of emergency management.

    The gates to the park will continue to open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on a daily basis until further notice. Lines are expected to be long, so those needing to be tested should ensure you have sufficient fuel for waiting.

    “I want to talk to younger people who are out there, you don’t have to go out, you can be a hero to the person next to you by social distancing,” said Jared Moskowitz, Director Florida Division of Emergency Management. “We do know social distancing works. We ask that you do that. We ask that you be a hero. Now is the time for everyone to help themselves, to help each other.”

    The Community Based Test Site is a multi-agency effort and includes support from: Broward County Parks and Recreation, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida Department of Health, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida National Guard, Memorial Healthcare System, Pembroke Pine Police Department and Quest Diagnostics.



    Date Taken: 03.20.2020
    Date Posted: 03.20.2020 15:52
    Story ID: 365596
    Location: FL, US

    Web Views: 650
    Downloads: 0