DeSantis announces drive-thru antibody testing will soon be available at Orange County Convention Center.
Drive-thru will be available at convention center
Drive-thru antibody testing for the novel coronavirus will soon be available at the Orange County Convention Center soon, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday.
Dr. Raul Pino, the health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said the tests will help determine how much of the population has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies to fight it off.
Pino said he will encourage first responders and healthcare workers to take the blood test, though he believes it will also be open to members of the public when it arrives.
“If we have to [step] back a little bit or hit pause, our economic activities could continue with people who have already an immunity to the virus,” he said. “And if that immunity is larger than we suspect, then our economy could sustain if we extract people who are vulnerable to the virus.”
Dr. Scott Brady, the vice president of ambulatory services at AdventHealth told Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force that the hospital system will likely have “some significant ability to do antibody testing” later this month.
A working group developing guidelines to reviving the region’s tourism also brought forward new recommendations on Wednesday to Mayor Jerry Demings’ Economic Recovery Task Force.
George Aguel, CEO of Visit Orlando, said his agency plans to steer its initial marketing efforts toward Floridians in the coming weeks, hoping to expand to other cities within a day’s drive of Orlando later this summer. Those efforts could be in other southeast metro areas like Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville.
He theorized that travelers will be reluctant to fly, possibly for some time, so the marketing efforts could also extend up the Atlantic Coast to Washington, D.C.
Vacationers traveling by car account for about 70% of Orlando’s tourists, Aguel said.
By late fall and into the holiday season, the task force hopes to resume advertising Orlando across the country.
Aguel said his agency’s research has shown that young couples without kids may be more eager to start traveling again, but the length of time people spend on vacation may be shorter as the economy flails.
The overall task force also recommended Demings launch an electronic survey to gauge consumer confidence, as some restaurants and stores reopened this week under statewide capacity restrictions.
In order to help those businesses, the county will distribute 1