Florida National Guard assists local partner with CBTS Amelia Earhart Park

A Florida National Guard Soldier, with the assistance of an Allied Health care provider, screens patients prior to entering the test lane at CBTS Amelia Earhart Park, Hialeah. The Florida National Guard is supporting Miami-Dade County with testing the local community. (US Army photo by Sgt. Leia Tascarini)
April 06, 2020

In the early 1900s, Amelia Earhart Park was a large mass of undeveloped land that once belonged to a U.S. Naval Air Station and was used for training purposes. Now, the park is named in honor of famed female pilot Amelia Earhart, who took her last flight from Hialeah, Fla., in1937. Responding to the COVID-19 virus, another Community Based Testing Site has opened at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah.

The site opened to the public on Thursday April 2, however the Florida Guard began assisting with site operations today to relieve local staff so they may support the COVID-19 response in other areas.
“We are thankful for the support of the Florida National Guard at our COVID-19 testing site at Amelia Earhart Park,” said Esteban “Steve” Bovo, Miami-Dade County Commissioner. “Their service, presence and unwavering support is helping us make our site more efficient and reduce waiting times for our residents.”

Medics with the Florida Guard will be collecting specimens to send for testing. The site has two operational lanes to assist local citizens however will not be able to support pedestrians on bikes, walk-ins, or animals. The Florida Guard also has service members ready to assist with Spanish speaking individuals.

“We are here to help facilitate the mission, ultimately at the end of the day it’s about taking care of the citizens of Florida,” said Florida National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Aycock, 254th Transportation Battalion West Palm Beach, Fla. “The Soldiers are highly motivated to assist with the mission and happy to be making a difference.”

The test will be limited to people over the age of 65 or older and showing symptoms of COVID-19. The site is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only two people are allowed in the car, and an appointment has to be made prior to arrival; to make an appointment, call 305-268-4319.

The Florida National Guard has more than 2,000 Guardsmen on orders in support of Florida’s COVID-19 response, and are operating five Community Based Testing Sites that have administered more than 23,000 sample collections to date.