COVID-19 testing in Florida at less than 1 percent per county


FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — According to their own number the Florida Department of Health has tested less than 1 percent of the population in each county in the state.

This is true even in hard-hit counties like Broward. News 13 came to this estimate by using the publicly available data released by the state versus the population in that county.

Testing has become a flashpoint during the coronavirus pandemic. Some members of the public have called for mass testing. But that hasn’t happened due to a lack of tests and strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines only allow for testing in those who both have symptoms and have either come in contact with a known case of COVID-19 or left a COVID-19 hotspot.

These rules have become even more controversial as some politicians and celebrities have been able to be tested without symptoms.

According to our numbers, which were gathered at 10 a.m. Thursday, Broward and Sumter Counties have tested .3 percent of their population. In St. Johns and St. Lucie about .25 percent of the population has been tested.

The numbers get smaller from there.

In the Panhandle, the numbers are much smaller. In Bay County, .04 percent has been tested. In Walton .13, in Okaloosa .07 and in Jackson .09.

The percentage of people tested in the entire state is .14

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