North Texas COVID-19 testing sites seeing increase in demand ahead of holidays

COVID-19 testing sites are slowly starting to fill up across North Texas as the holiday weekend approaches.

But compared to early in the pandemic, there are plenty of places offering testing, vaccinations and booster shots.

Medical experts predict a growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in January due to all of the traveling from the holidays and the omicron variant.

Dr. Nick Karr is CEO of Citra Urgent Care.

"What we're actually seeing now is people coming in who are testing because they're having symptoms," he said.

He says his North Texas clinics are booking out COVID-19 test two days in advance. They're trying to facilitate walk-in clients too.

RELATED: Omicron variant detected in 89 countries; WHO says cases rapidly doubling

"But one of the big things I just I would suggest people don't delay. If you need to get tested, definitely try to make plans, make appointments because we, we anticipate things are just going to continue to get even busier," Karr said.

Dr. Natalia Gutierrez is a family medicine physician with Texas Health Physician Group. Gutierrez says the data on omicron is still in its early stages but is concerning.

"I think what's coming in January is concerning for all of us because in the prior surges we had, at least in adults, we had a lot of hospital beds with COVID only. But now we also have flu," she said.

RELATED: Moderna: COVID booster effective against omicron in tests, will still develop new shot

According to the DFW Hospital Council there are approximately 800 COVID-19 patients in North Texas hospitals in Trauma Service Area E. President Stephen Love said numbers are gradually increasing.

The Dallas County Health Director said the growth in cases is a reminder to be smart about COVID-19.

"Another wakeup call, how we can't let our guard down," said Dr. Philip Huang. "The first thing is get vaccinated, if you're not already vaccinated."

The Houston Methodist hospital system has reported that the omicron variant accounts for 82 percent of new symptomatic COVID-19 cases it is treating. In comparison, the delta variant took three months during the summer before it was the cause of more than 80 percent of cases.


North Texas holiday travelers prepared to deal with new COVID restrictions across the country

Dallas Stars game vs. Winnipeg scheduled for Wednesday postponed