At certain mobile sites, health care employees collect samples from people with a nasal or throat swab. The samples then go to a lab to determine whether a person has the virus.

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SHALIMAR — A plan to provide mobile coronavirus-testing sites in various parts of Okaloosa County is expected to be discussed Tuesday by the County Commission.

At certain mobile sites, health care employees collect samples from people with a nasal or throat swab. The samples then go to a lab to determine whether a person has the virus.

In his latest public newsletter, County Commissioner Nathan Boyles said that while Gov. Ron DeSantis recently opened a drive-through testing facility in Pensacola, state or federal resources have not participated in standing up a facility in Okaloosa County.

“This is in large part a result of our low rate of infection and the need to focus resources on more impacted areas,” Boyles said Wednesday in his newsletter. “However, as we open back up for business, robust testing availability will be an important part of keeping our community safe. To that end, Okaloosa County EMS (Emergency Management Services) has developed a plan to start “pop-up” testing sites as early as next week.”

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The sites will be manned by county EMS staff and be free to the public, Boyles said. Locations will be published in advance and the plan is to alternate locations across the county to improve access, he said.

“Be aware though, that even as we improve access to testing, getting results are still reliant on limited lab capacity,” he said. “If you get tested you should expect it will take seven to 10 days to receive results back based upon current capacity at the state labs.”

County Public Safety Director Pat Maddox currently is determining whether county paramedics and emergency medical technicians will collect samples from the public at the local mobile sites, county spokesman Christopher Saul said Thursday.

In partnership with the local branch of the state Department of Health, county officials plan to set up the sites in highly populated areas such as Crestview, Fort Walton Beach and Destin, Saul said.

Details on various issues, such as the sites’ hours/days of operation and whether the sites will be open to everyone or only those showing symptoms of the virus, still must be finalized.

“There are no finite plans until Tuesday’s meeting,” Saul said. “We don’t know if the testing will be done in ambulances or at drive-through sites.”

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At drive-through sites, people receive their swab test while they remain in their vehicles.

Saul said that to his knowledge, there has been no estimated overall cost of operations for the mobile sites being discussed for Okaloosa County.

Whatever that cost may be, “We’re looking for every single way we can get reimbursed to reduce that burden on taxpayers,” he said.

The County Commission’s special meeting on Tuesday starts at 8:30 a.m. in the County Administration Building in Shalimar.