USF Health takes COVID-19 testing to local Hillsborough County neighborhoods

USF Health has teamed up with Hillsborough County to offer COVID-19 testing to residents in several neighborhood community centers in Hillsborough County.

The effort is meant to make COVID-19 coronavirus testing as convenient as possible to all residents. The USF Health provider team will use nasopharyngeal swabs to collect specimens used in testing for COVID-19. New guidelines mean that testing is now available for all individuals with or without symptoms.

There are three community sites that have recently opened, that are in addition to the Raymond James Stadium testing site.

  • Lee Davis Community Resource Center, 3402 N. 22nd St., Tampa
  • Plant City Community Resource Center, 307 N. Michigan Ave., Plant City
  • SouthShore Community Resource Center, 201 14th Ave. SE, Ruskin

On April 24, at the Lee Davis location, Florida Representative Dianne “Ms. Dee” Hart and Florida Senator Darryl Rouson joined Charles J. Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, as the health team swabbed local residents for the second day since opening.

At the April 24 testing site operation are, from left, Dr. Haywood Brown vice president for diversity, inclusion & equal opportunity for USF, associate dean for diversity at the Morsani College of Medicine and chief diversity officer for USF Health; Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine; Florida Senator Darryl Rouson; and Florida Representative Dianne Hart.

“We’re bringing it to the people who may need it the most,” said Sen. Rouson. “We’ve heard the terrible statistics and disparities of African American communities, low-income communities all across the nation.  Right now, Florida does not track the national average. But, it’s not to say that it won’t when things shake out.  We must get ahead of this curve.  By bringing (testing) to the community, we’re helping people who may have transportation challenges, location challenges, and we’re helping them stay healthy.”

Local news media also attended the April 24 testing site operation. Dr. Charles Lockwood answers reporters’ questions.

Drive-thru testing is free at all Hillsborough County testing sites and insurance is not required. All individuals can be tested, with or without symptoms. Pre-registration and appointments are through Hillsborough County’s call center at (813) 272-5900, and walk-up testing is also available. The call center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.