Crowd lines up for COVID-19 testing at church in The Villages

The Sumter County Health Department began free COVID-19 testing Monday at New Covenant United Methodist Church in The Villages. The health department plans to test up to 1,200 people over a four-day period at the Summerhill campus.

On Monday, 238 people were tested at the church.

Two testing stations with two lanes for drive-ups moved test subjects through the test site efficiently.

All of the pre-registered slots are filled for the testing which continues Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

When those scheduled to be tested arrived at the church, whether by car or golf cart, they were greeted at a checkpoint where their information was gathered and they were directed to a testing station.

Thirty-seven Sumter County Health Department employees and volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps of Sumter County manned the testing operation. Nurses in full protective gear obtained the test samples in the 90-degree heat. The health department team moved the test subjects through the process in an efficient manner.

Sumter County Health Department employees moved Villagers through the testing stations Monday at New Covenant United Methodist Church.

Most of the people seeking tests arrived wearing face masks. Those who had not yet obtained masks were given free masks at the test site. Sumter County has received several thousand face masks from the federal government and is distributing them to anyone who needs a mask. The use of face masks combined with social distancing, hand washing and cleaning frequently touched surfaces is recommended.

For more information about protecting yourself from the Coronavirus, visit http://sumter.floridahealth.gov/

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