People wait for hours at final testing clinic in health district before holidays

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 6:25 AM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - As COVID-19 cases continue to surge and people prepare to gather with family, testing demands have also skyrocketed. All across the country, there have been reports of long car lines and people waiting for hours for at-home tests to rapid test sites.

The situation was no different at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center Wednesday morning. The center was the site of the Richmond Henrico Health Districts’ final walk-up testing clinic before Christmas and the last one scheduled until January.

The clinic lasted from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. until the clinic ran out of tests. Despite the Holiday rush those who showed up say the test site was run smoothly.

“They had like four or five people doing the tests so it was pretty quick,” Andrew Harris said. “I think people are taking it seriously and especially I think everybody is being practical because we all want to see family and have that fellowship that we haven’t gotten to have.”

People waited in long lines for hours for a rapid test or a take-home test kit which were the first to run out, a fact which frustrated people who had scheduled their testing appointment.

“I want to protect myself and my family and the only reason why I haven’t been vaccinated previously is because of my treatment with cancer,” Kathe Dowdye said. “One of the personnel who came out has basically said there is a good chance that we would be turned away.”

Health Experts says those still determined to take a COVID-19 test with results in time before Christmas will have a tough time doing so. Pharmacists say that pharmacies and major retailers are selling out of the COVID-19 tests just as fast as they can get them.

Vaccines and booster shots however are not in short supply. The Arthur Ashe Recreation Center in Richmond was also the last clinic where you could go to get vaccinated before Christmas. That clinic lasted from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“I have some high-risk family, so older folks in my family. I say it’s better to be safe than sorry so get it knocked out as soon as you can,” Rachel Crow said.

The RHHD says if you still need to get a test for travel purposes, you should find the requirements and contact your primary care provider or go to urgent care for testing, but they say keep in mind that some urgent cares are only testing people with symptoms.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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