Holly Hill, FL - When Holly Hill Mayor Chris Via and his family were informed that someone they had been in contact with had tested positive for COVID-19, the family immediately got tested and then self-isolated. That was 13 days ago today and Via says they still do not have the results of their tests.
Via said he contacted the Mayors of all 16 cities in Volusia County and Volusia County Chair Ed Kelley to join him in signing a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis to request that expedited symptomatic lanes for COVID-19 testing be opened in Volusia County. "I think it's completely unprecedented that you see all 16 Mayors coming together from a variety of different backgrounds, from different political affiliations. This is not a political or controversial issue. Testing is important."
The issue is the labs processing the tests, according to Via. He said they are being inundated with tests and that the pricing structure actually rewards them for taking in tests not how many they can process.
Deltona Mayor Heidi Herzberg signed the letter because she says that she's heard multiple stories about people 'not getting their test results or their test results were incomplete or got lost.' She said a fellow employee was having symptoms, got tested, and self-isolated for almost three weeks before getting her results. When she did get her results, they were negative. The problem, according to Herzberg, is that a person who works on commission, stayed out of work for three weeks, which she could ill-afford.
Herzberg said that Deltona has seen a lot of positive cases due to community spread and that a long-term health care facility has seen a big increase with 55 cases reported. She thinks that the fact that there is not a united front with the state not taking the lead is a problem. "I signed the letter because it's definitely a valid request to expedite the results of the testing. When you have a ten-day window of not getting a test result back that's almost the entire quarantine period. And people, they're very nervous."
According to Via, the expedited symptomatic lanes for COVID-19 testing are currently being used in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Duval counties.