MIAMI BEACH - Florida National Guard (FLNG) supports COVID-19 antibody testing at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) and Hard Rock Stadium Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS).
The Florida Guard is providing support at the Miami Beach hybrid CBTS and Hard Rock Stadium CBTS to allow the state and local partners to conduct antibody testing for first responders at both facilities. An antibody test is a screening for antibodies in your blood, the body makes these when it fights an infection. Antibodies are how you develop an immunity to viruses like the flu and COVID-19.
“We are currently using a rapid antibody test; it tests for qSARS-CoV-2 antibodies and will yield a result within 15 minutes,” said Emma Spencer, the Bureau Chief of communicable diseases for the Florida Department of Health. “The National Guard has been instrumental in supporting this mission with testing, traffic control and overall organization; it’s been a great collaboration.”
The Florida National Guard has been supporting the state’s COVID-19 response in South Florida since mid-March. The mission began by opening C.B. Smith Park CBTS as the first drive up test site in Florida and has since evolved into several drive up, walk-up and one hybrid site. The Florida Guard is now supporting the newest evolution to combating COVID-19, the antibody test.
“I started the mission in mid-March at C.B. Smith Park and moved to the Hard Rock and now I am here at the MBCC,” said Spc. Alvaro Dominguez, a Soldier assigned to the 260th Military Intelligence Battalion and a data gatherer at the MBCC antibody test tent. “I have learned several aspects of the COVID-19 response to include the importance of the antibody test in understanding the virus.”
The Florida National Guard has more than 2,200 Guardsmen on duty in support of Florida’s COVID-19 response. Soldiers and Airmen are currently operating 28 Community Based Testing Sites locations, and have administered more than 212,000 sample collections to date at those sites. In addition, the Guard is supporting the Florida Department of Health’s screening operations at seven Florida airports.