Waco woman spends three days in line waiting for COVID test

Long lines at testing sites across Central Texas forcing people to wait in vehicles for hours, some turned away
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:26 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The city of Waco opened two additional COVID-19 testing sites Wednesday at McLennan County Community College and Columbus Ave Baptist Church as people report waiting more than seven hours at the Yes No Covid testing location outside the Richland Mall.

“Its like going to lake Waco during the summer, just pack your ice chest, your coffee and your lunch,” Barbara Battee told KWTX Tuesday.

She, her son and two grandkids returned to the Yes No Covid testing site three days in a row, waiting six and a half to seven and a half hours each day.

After being turned away for the second time, Battee says the site manager advised her and her family to line up at 5 a.m. the next day and wait for the site to open at 8. She says they arrived at 5 and were already behind some 70 cars. She says they were tested around 11:30 a.m., three of the four testing positive.

“Maybe one percent of cars left and got out of line but it was only one percent because we all need the test,” Battee explained.

She says over the course of the three days they looked for other options to get an official test that could be turned into school and work, but found no other options.

While she calls the three day process miserable, she says the staff isn’t to blame. “That was miserable and its really no ones fault. I have nothing but great things to say about those employees, they’re spending the day out there away from their families and they’re doing the best they can,” Battee said.

While the staff was friendly and helpful, Battee says her suggestion would be for the site to cut people off once the maximum number of cars have arrived, as to prevent others from waiting several hours without a test like she did.

She says when its time to need a negative test to return to school and work she won’t take her family back to the testing site outside the Richland Mall, she says instead she’s called their primary doctor to request a test in the office.

The city of Temple opened a testing site this week, that allows for 400 tests to be given a day, for five days. The site closed early Wednesday after all the tests for the day were used by 5 p.m.

Brooke Bridges was one of the last cars in line and says she waited more than three hours for the test, an eventful afternoon, though just sitting in her car, she says there was a lot of activity while she waited.

“One guy walked by my car, I guess he ran out of gas, an old man got out of his car and was throwing up in the grass, so I put my mask on I gave him water, I felt really bad,” Bridges said.

In Killeen, the city has two testing locations, at the former Nolan Middle School and at the Special Events Center where they are administering 500 tests per day at each site.

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