Demand up for COVID-19 tests as cases rise

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)- For the first time in recent months, Bay County is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, and it seems people can’t get tested quick enough.

Appointment slots are filling up rapidly at COVID-19 testing sites throughout Bay County.

According to the Florida Health Department, Bay County saw 261 new cases of COVID-19 between July 2nd and July 8th.

With the recent rise in cases of the virus, Bay Countians have not hesitated to get tested.

As of right now, PanCare is only offering COVID-19 testing on Mondays and Tuesdays, after trimming back because the new cases were very low.

The Marketing Coordinator at PanCare, Ashley Kelley, discussed what they are doing to fill this new high demand.

“We’ve noticed that the demand for testing has increased recently so we’ve opened up another site in Panama City,” said Kelley. “If we need to open up additional sites or additional days, then we will do that as needed.”

Dr. Rubina Azam, a board-certified pediatrician, said that shortages in testing following spikes are normal and stressed that only those who need tests should get them.

“If somebody is fully vaccinated and they have been exposed but are asymptotic, there is no need for them to get tested,” Azam said. “But, if you are not vaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19 and you are developing symptoms, in both scenarios you need to get tested.”

Kelley also said that they have the supply to meet the potentially large demand and that PanCare is hosting vaccine clinics as well.

“We’re prepared. We have testing supplies in stock,” Kelley said.

She also made a point of noting that PanCare is hosting two big vaccine clinics on the 16th and the 17th of July.

New numbers are expected to be released soon and will paint a clearer picture of where Bay County stands as far as COVID-19.

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