ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — Hundreds of people waited hours to get tested for COVID-19 test on Wednesday.
Some returning from holiday travel were trying to get one, and others looking to hit the road were also looking for a test.
According to NEXT Molecular, it was the biggest test day the test site at Fashion Square Mall saw this year.
In total, 647 tests were given in four hours. Usually, fewer than 300 are administered a day.
“I did come at two and it was wrapped around the entire mall,” said Sally, who was waiting in line to get her test.
Many of the people who attended the testing clinic at the mall say it was the only place where they could get tested.
“I’ve called every urgent care in Charlottesville and everyone is sold out of tests. So it’s a little scary,” Sally added.
Part of the reason for the sudden demand is that people are worried about the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
“It spreads like wildfire. Very quickly. She’s a nurse so she’d know,” said Dylan Aiken, getting tested with his girlfriend.
Others fear they already have it.
Sonia, an Albemarle County resident, was in line to get tested because she was exposed over the holidays.
Still others need to get tested for that long-awaited holiday vacation.
“I’m headed to the Bahamas on Friday so, we have to have a negative COVID test to go,” Sally added.
“I’m getting tested for the reassurance for my New Year’s crew because we are going to Baltimore to celebrate New Year’s and I’ve never had COVID,” Aiken added.
And though the fear of COVID is real, Aiken and his girlfriend feel they’re taking the necessary steps to still have fun.
“Now that I have antibodies, and I’m getting tested and we are all getting tested and we are all wearing masks for New Year’s, yeah I feel much safer,” added Aiken.
While some are optimistic about getting their test, others aren’t so sure.
“Yeah, I don’t know, we might not get one today,” Sonia added.
If you missed out on a COVID test on Wednesday, there will be another event Thursday at the Fashion Square Mall from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
There are no more open appointments, but walk-in testing will be available.