Lines cause concerns as many flock to testing sites

Many people are lining up to get tested for COVID-19 throughout Central Texas as cases continue...
Many people are lining up to get tested for COVID-19 throughout Central Texas as cases continue rising.(Michael Cantu KWTX)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:33 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in Central Texas, with more than 600 new cases in McLennan County reported Thursday and 400 in Bell County.

With the increase in cases, many are anxious to get tested at any number of clinics that are being set up around the area. That usually involves a bit of a wait.

In Killeen, at a testing and vaccine site, many people wait from 30 minutes to two hours for tests. But for other Central Texans, it was not that short.

“It got to be 10 a.m. and I thought, oh yeah I’ll be done by 11 a.m.. Then it got to 11 a.m. and I thought, we’ll maybe I’ll be done by noon,” said Joan Supplee, a Waco resident. “Thinking that was the outside limit.”

Supplee waited about six hours to get a test earlier this week.

That is something many residents of Waco understand as they wait in their cars to get a positive or negative result in the Richland Mall parking lot.

“By the time I got to the Richland Mall, about 6:30 a.m., a quarter-to-seven, there were already three lines of cars,” said Supplee.

It was all the more frustrating too, because appointments were booked at other places like Walgreens and CVS.

“The next available appointments were starting Saturday and Sunday of next week,” said Supplee. “And I’m just like, that’s not helpful.”

And with cases climbing, the need for more sites is there. Which some area health districts are looking into.

We are working to get in a vendor to offer testing, but at this point we don’t have one,” said Kelly Craine, with the Waco-Mclennan County Public Health District earlier this week.

It is also high on the minds for more parents as children return to class.

“If you have a child, the best bet may be to really, talk to your pediatrician whether that’s by phone or video call,” said Craine. “You can talk to them about what’s the bets option for your child.”

But for now, the want for more sites remains.

“There has to be more sites set up, especially now in the middle of the surge,” said Supplee. “In two weeks, hopefully we’ll be at the other end of the surge and it won’t be quite as critical.”

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