MANATEE COUNTY – The COVID-19 testing site that’s been a fixture in the southwest corner of the Bradenton Area Convention Center parking lot for the past several months is closed.
The order to close all state COVID-19 testing sites by May 28 came from the Florida Department of Health on May 11. Two of the first ones to close were in Manatee and Sarasota counties, both of which were set to close May 15 after testing for the day concluded.
Though the walk-up site at the convention center is no more, Manatee County residents still have options to receive free COVID-19 tests.
Local Walgreens and CVS locations are offering free COVID-19 testing with both rapid tests and more detailed diagnostic tests that take a few days to receive results.
On Anna Maria Island, both CVS and Walgreens offer the diagnostic test. For a rapid test, islanders will need to drive into town.
To book an appointment for COVID-19 testing at a Walgreens location, visit their website. You will be required to fill out a short online form and provide your insurance information. Select Walgreens locations offer drive-thru testing.
To book an appointment at a local CVS, visit their COVID-19 test information page. Patients also will have to fill out a short online form and provide insurance information to book an appointment.
For those who don’t want to visit a local pharmacist, at-home COVID-19 test kits are available for purchase. The test kits are available for about $40 and can be purchased in person or online from CVS and other retailers. Patients will have to take their own nasal sample using the provided collection tools and mail the sample to a designated laboratory for processing.
More information on at-home testing can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.