COVID-19 testing sites in North Texas continue to see long lines

Post-Christmas COVID-19 testing continues to ramp up and lines are just getting longer in North Texas.

Video from SKY 4 showed cars waiting on Lebanon Road in Frisco Monday at one of the many busy testing sites.

Staff members there said they typically see 150 to 200 people per day. This week they’re averaging about 600 people per day, and they’ve had to cut off the line at time to take a break.

"Pick a line, stick at it. Come with a full tank of gas. Come with some things to entertain yourself and just be patient with us," said Alyssa Mcelya Pajouh, the chief operations officer at Neighborhood Medical Center.

It was a similar scene at Dallas College’s Mountain View Campus. Cars snaked around the campus, out of the parking lot and into the street.

Testing centers around the Metroplex all say they’re seeing people who are worried they were exposed over the holidays, as well as people who are feeling sick.

"I don’t think there’s anywhere you can go that will not have a line at this point. I know every single CVS and Walgreens I’ve heard of is sold out of at-home tests. I know every place that takes appointments is out of appointments for the next week. I know every place that takes walk-ups has a three to four-hour line," Pajouh said. "We could’ve done over 1,000 the last few days if we had the staff to do it. I had to close down because my staff is just exhausted."

The latest data from UT Southwestern shows more than 95% of their sequenced COVID-19 cases are now dominant omicron variant.

Positivity rates are also rapidly jumping in the Metroplex with roughly 16% of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.

The longest lines at testing sites are not going unnoticed on the federal level.

On Monday morning, President Joe Biden met with the National Governor’s Association to discuss state strategies to fight the virus, including ramping up testing availability in pharmacies and at testing sites.

"I know the lines have gotten very long in some states. That’s why I’ve ordered FEMA to set up pop up sites in places with high demand to shorten the wait," President Biden said. "Seeing how tough it was for folks to get a test this weekend shows we have more to do. We’re doing it first."

The president told the governors his administration is stockpiling ventilators and personal protective equipment, in addition to mobilizing a thousand military doctors and nurses to help staff hospitals in hard-hit areas.

In the meantime, workers at testing sites are asking for patience.

"Just be patient with us. We’re trying the best we can. It’s busy everywhere and everyone’s literally exhausted," Pajough said.

President Biden said an additional at-home COVID-19 test was cleared on Friday to add to the available options for testing but many stores are having trouble keeping them on the shelves.

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