23:59 GMT13 August 2020
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    The Florida Divison of Emergency Management (FDEM) on Wednesday announced that all state-supported drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing sites would close at 5 p.m. local time Thursday due to Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.

    "Testing sites are closing out of an abundance of caution to keep individuals operating and attending the sites safe," the FDEM said in the press release.

    "All sites have freestanding structures including tents and other equipment, which cannot withstand tropical storm-force winds, and could cause damage to people and property if not secured," the statement adds.
    ​The FDEM also encouraged symptomatic Floridians to receive a self-swab test at drive-thru testing sites before they close Thursday. Free COVID-19 testing will remain available at local County Health Departments across the state.

    Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine is expected to cause heavy rains and strong winds in Florida as early as Friday. However, the cyclone could develop into a tropical storm, to be dubbed Tropical Storm Isaias, by Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

    Florida has been experiencing surging COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The state currently has more than 451,000 cases of the virus, with 9,448 new cases being added to the state tally on Wednesday alone.


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