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BayCare Changes Testing Requirements, Ends Hospital Visitations

Health workers in protective gear collect swabs from patients who drove up to the testing site.
Stephanie Colombini
WUSF Public Media
Health workers in protective gear collect swabs from patients who drove up to the testing site.

After opening up drive thru testing for COVID-19 Wednesday at locations across the Bay Area, BayCare is narrowing requirements for testing starting Saturday.

Because of limited testing supplies, the health care system will focus on testing people who it believes are most at risk at its seven locations, according to a news release.

People are now required to have physical symptoms in order to get screened and bring along a referral from their doctor that explicitly mentions those symptoms.

Drive thru hours will also be reduced to 9 a.m. through 1 p.m.

Test results will take at least five days to receive.

BayCare’s hospitals are also ending patient visitations starting Saturday. Only certain exceptions will be made and those visitors will be screened for signs of COVID-19.

Bay Area hospitals that are stopping visitations include:

Hillsborough County

  • St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital – North
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital – South
  • St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital
  • South Florida Baptist Hospital

Pasco County

  • Morton Plant North Bay

Pinellas County

  • Bardmoor Emergency Center
  • BayCare Alliant Hospital
  • Mease Countryside Hospital
  • Mease Dunedin Hospital
  • Morton Plant Hospital
  • St. Anthony’s Hospital

Polk County

  • Bartow Regional Medical Center
  • Winter Haven Hospital
  • Winter Haven Women’s Hospital
Hi there! I’m Dinorah Prevost and I’m the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show. That basically means that I plan, record and edit the interviews we feature on the show.