HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – As COVID-19 cases in the state surge, so is the demand for testing, which is causing long wait times and leaving many people frustrated and overwhelmed.
The long lines keep growing at local COVID-19 testing sites as demand for tests continues to increase after the holidays. The AMR site at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield has been having to turn people away because of overcrowding and staffing shortages.
Now the same is happening at the Holyoke Community College testing site, run by Transformative Healthcare. 22News arrived two hours before the closing of the testing site at HCC and an officer was turning away cars because of these long lines. One family we spoke with said they had to wait four and a half hours just to receive their test.
In a statement to 22News, Narayan Sampath, the Vice President of Administration and Finance at Holyoke Community College, said in part, “We are working with the city to check if we can extend the hours on campus. The challenge has been staffing. For example, yesterday we had just two individuals managing the testing center instead of the usual six. Some staff were unavailable as they had tested positive.”
22News also reached out to the director of the Holyoke Board of Health who told us the HCC site has not run out of tests but the site is unable to process the number of vehicles within the hours of operation.