Drive-thru COVID testing site opens at Venice Community Center

VENICE – The Florida Department of Health, Sarasota County and the City of Venice have partnered with Sarasota-based Laboratory Services to open a drive-through testing site in the south parking lot of the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave ., S.

Officials originally planned a walk-in site, but switched to drive-thru when it opened on Wednesday.

The free tests will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday and were scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 12.

PCR tests will be available.

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Lab Services is a locally owned medical laboratory with high-volume COVID-19 testing capabilities that DOH Sarasota has worked with throughout the pandemic.

It currently operates public testing centers at Dallas White Park, 5900 Greenwood Ave., North Port; and the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota.

No appointment will be required and anyone can be tested, regardless of symptoms.

More COVID testing sites in Sarasota County

In addition to these three sites, independent contractors operate two drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Sarasota County.

One, operated by Nomi Health at the old Sarasota Kennel Club, 5400 Old Bradenton Road, Sarasota, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It offers both rapid and PCR COVID-19 tests.

The other, operated by Real Diagnostics in the Ed Smith Stadium parking lot, 2700 12th St., Sarasota is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week and offers PCR testing only.

Florida Department of Health guidelines remain – the vaccine is the most effective way to protect against COVID-19.

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DOH – Sarasota operates walk-in COVID 19 vaccination clinics offering all licensed doses of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at its Sarasota and North Port offices.

The Sarasota site is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays at 2200 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota.

The North Port location is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 6950 Outreach Way, North Port.

The Sarasota DOH recommends individuals contact their medical provider, local retail pharmacies, or visit https://www.vaccines.gov for vaccine availability near them.

Jill E. Washington