Long wait at COVID-19 testing sites days before Christmas weekend

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- COVID-19 cases have risen to new daily highs in Massachusetts, just days before Christmas.

People are after that peace of mind before their holiday get-togethers, knowing case numbers are at their highest levels in this pandemic.

Megan from Stafford, Connecticut said that she had waited in line for about two hours for a COVID-19 test, “I have a huge family Christmas, so I don’t want to spread it.”

Drivers waited hours to get tested two days before Christmas at the Eastfield Mall AMR testing site.

Patrick Leonardo, the AMR Operations Manager for the testing site, told 22News, “The lines are long but we are moving people quick. We are doing 65 tests every minute right now, we did over 1,200 tests already as of 7:00 this morning.”

These long lines show just how dedicated people are of getting tested before gathering with loved ones. At the Eastfield Mall testing site, they offer a PCR and a rapid test for those individuals displaying symptoms.

“Its for the peace of mind, is it the cold or the flu or are you having covid symptoms. That way you can isolate and quarantine so you don’t get others infected with the virus.” Leonardo explained.

He said 25 percent of rapid tests have come back positive, and 17 percent for PCR. This compares with the state’s positivity rate of just over seven percent, still one percent less than January. AMR is coming off their busiest day at the testing site since last August. On Wednesday, they did 2,200 tests in 8 hours.

“Yeah they are doing everything they can to make sure their community is safe, their family is safe. So its important we all come together make sure we are doing the right thing. I think that’s happening.” Leonardo added.

AMR closed the site at 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning in order to give labs enough time to get the results. It will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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