Long lines were visible Tuesday as drivers waited at the free COVID-19 testing site outside the Richland Mall in Waco.
WACO, Texas — COVID-19 tests are in high demand as cases rise across the U.S. this holiday season.
According to the CDC, the new Omicron variant is surging and more COVID cases are expected in coming weeks.
On Tuesday the need for tests was apparent in Central Texas.
Killeen ISD had a steady flow of cars at the former Nolan Middle School where they’re offering free vaccines and COVID-19 rapid testing.
It was the same in McLennan county where long lines could be seen at the free mobile testing site that was set up at the Richland Mall in Waco. More and more people were showing up to get tested just ahead of the new year.
Waco Family Medicine has seen an uptick in testing this past week too. Dr. Zach Sartor said it’s certainly the most testing they’ve done in a while.
“The number of tests that are needed and the number of people coming in for tests are a direct result of that virus spreading like wildfire in the community,” Dr. Sartor said.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 you may want to wait because it’s possible to test too soon. The CDC recommends getting tested five days after your exposure if you are not showing any symptoms.
“Any earlier than that you run the risk of having a false negative. So testing for the virus and having that results being negative when in fact you do have the virus,” Dr. Sartor said.
If you are showing symptoms, Dr. Sartor said you should get tested right away and isolate yourself from others regardless of your vaccination status.
Health experts continue to recommend getting vaccinated and getting a booster shot against COVID-19 to prevent severe illness and hospitalization.