Appointments are necessary but open to all residents. Three Alachua County COVID-19 cases added in the Monday report from the state Health Department, with no deaths.

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The Alachua County Health Department is now offering COVID-19 testing to residents regardless of symptoms as three more local cases were added to the tally of positive test results since the pandemic began.


Residents who want a COVID-19 test are asked to call (352) 334-8810 for an appointment. A referral from a doctor is not required. Appointments are generally made for the following day.


There is no co-pay for those with health insurance that covers testing. Testing is free for those who don’t have insurance that covers the cost.


"The capacity has been there, at least in Alachua County," said Paul Myers, administrator of the Alachua County office of the state Department of Health.


Until now, however, the Health Department has limited testing to those who meet certain guidelines such as showing symptoms or having a risk factor that make them vulnerable to more severe cases.


Last week the federal Centers for Disease Control changed its guidelines to recommend broader testing and the state Health Department followed suit.


"My priority remains those in nursing homes and those who are symptomatic," Myers said, but he said there is local capacity to handle a larger volume of testing.


Drive-up testing without an appointment is not available in Alachua County. Myers said scheduled appointments help gather essential patient information in advance and allocate supplies where they are needed.


Monday’s daily report from the Health Department shows 289 positive tests in Alachua County, up from 286 in Sunday’s report. One test was confirmed today. Three were added on Sunday, two of them after the daily report was released.


The total number of related deaths continues to stand at four, with no COVID-19 death here since April 21.


A total of 7,425 tests have been conducted so far, with 4% positive results.


Florida now has 36,897 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Monday morning update. Deaths rose 1,399.