Tis’ the season for long COVID-19 testing lines and short patience. It’s an image you’ll likely see at testing sites across the Houston area for both drive-up and walk-up sites this week.
“The line is this way and people are coming from the other direction. They’re trying to cut it,” said Andrea Luna, who waited in line at the drive-thru site in west Houston for a test.
Across the nation, long lines for COVID-19 tests were reported in Miami, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio as health experts and President Joe Biden urge Americans to get tested ahead of Christmas travel and gatherings.
Alex Duncan of Houston just returned from Chicago on Sunday and said she was stunned by the wait time at a testing kiosk Monday.
“I was stunned because I was looking for a place to get tested, and this place came up and I made an appointment,” Duncan said. “Well, how do I have an appointment and there’s a line?”
Site operator for Curative’s Tanglewilde kiosk Dominique Coleman said the average wait time was an hour, even for those with an appointment.
“We did close to 500 tests yesterday,” she said. “Today, we’re on track for more than that.”
Coleman said she attributes the uptick in people seeking tests to the omicron variant and people wanting to gather with family for the Christmas holiday.