Partnership between the City of Miami and UHealth provides free COVID testing for kids in Miami-Dade County

Posted at 3:15 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 16:37:19-04

The City of Miami partnered with the University of Miami to provide free COVID-19 testing for children of all ages. Today we speak to a doctor from UHealth on the importance of why your child should get tested, even if they show no symptoms.

“I was positive two weeks ago, so I just came out of quarantine. I’ve been hanging out with them all the time so I just wanted to [see] if they’re positive or have any antibodies,” said father of two, Eduardo Barrientos.

Parents in Miami-Dade County lined up at Elizabeth Virrick Park in Coconut Grove today to get their children tested for COVID-19.

“Whether they are symptomatic or they need it for clearance for school, traveling or because they were exposed, we test them,” said Maria Ferraris, project manager.

“I want make sure everything is good with them,” said Judiet, mother of five.

Testing locations change every week based on the impact of cases in the community.

“The City of Miami has a lot of neighborhoods that have high incidents of COVID infections and there wasn’t access to testing for children and so we felt that it was an amazing opportunity to do that in that community,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, associate professor of clinical pediatrics.

Lisa says recent data at their testing sites show an infectivity rate of about 12%.

“What’s interesting is that out of those children that are tested, about 80% are asymptomatic. Meaning they are walking around without any symptoms at all,” said Lisa.

So even if your child doesn’t show any symptoms, Lisa says they can still spread the virus, putting others at risk.

“All we can do is ensure that there’s access to testing for children and also when children go back to school that it is in fact safe, for not just for the children, but also for the faculty, teachers and staff,” said Lisa.

While appointments are recommended, the mobile team says they can accommodate walk ins if you’re in the area.

The pediatric mobile clinic from the University of Miami Health System will be at Virrick Park until Friday. To find the next location and to make an appointment call 305-243-2059.