Thursday, September 24, 2020

PRFAA Joins Organizations to Offer Free COVID-19 Tests in Florida

By on August 25, 2020

Photo by Vincent Ghilione on Unsplash

SAN JUAN — Continuing the free testing initiatives that have taken place in August, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) Florida office announced a collaboration with Latin Community Health Advisors (LCHA), Lab 24 and Calvario City Church to hold a free Covid-19 testing event Saturday. The drive-thru testing will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Calvario City Church premises. 

PRFAA Executive Director Jennifer M. Storipan is looking to incentivize the Puerto Rican population in Florida to get tested for Covid-19.

“With these important events, we hope the Puerto Rican community the opportunity to be tested and encourage everyone to continue observing social distancing and the rules recommended by the CDC. Participants will be given a box of masks provided by Orange County with each test,” the director said.

Anthony Carillo, Florida Regional Director for PRFAA, explained that people who want to get tested “only need to present a photo ID to verify their age. People under 18 years of age, or with some disability, will be able to identify themselves with their father, mother, guardian, or legal guardian.” 

PRFAA’s Florida initiative comes at a moment when Puerto Rico is experiencing a shortage of Covid-19 molecular, or diagnostic, tests but Storipan argued that Saturday’s event will help with the testing required for the people traveling from Florida to Puerto Rico. 

“As announced in July by the Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez Garced, we want to remind the community in Florida that both visitors and residents traveling to Puerto Rico have to submit a traveler’s statement and provide results of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 prior to arrival on the island,” Storipan said. 

“All individuals who travel to Puerto Rico must have a COVID-19 test carried out within the past 72 hours and be in possession of a negative result. If individuals arriving on the island have not completed a test or cannot show proof of a negative test result, then they will be required to quarantine for 14 days and perform a COVID-19 molecular test in a laboratory on the island,” she added.

Testing is open to the public “regardless of immigration status,” which is in line with other free testing initiatives that the LCHA has promoted, including an Aug. 22 event and an upcoming one on Aug. 30 that will be held at Quincy, Florida, also from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both the last weekend’s and this weekend’s testing is provided by Lab 24.

“The tests will be carried out this time in collaboration with Lab 24, a clinical laboratory that since 2005 provides tests to the clinical market and guarantees that results from the tests to detect the virus are available from 48 to 96 hours,” Janet Febo, vice president of LCHA, said. 

As for the testing facility, Rolando Torres, executive pastor at Calvario City Church, which he described as “a multicultural and multigenerational church located in the heart of Orlando with campuses in North Florida, New York, and Puerto Rico, with more than 90 missionaries in the world.”

For information, call (407) -776-9000 or email, infoFL@prfaa.pr.gov.