COVID test volume increasing post-holidays

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – After many people traveled over the holiday weekend to spend time with family, doctors say its led to an increase in COVID testing. Exposure, coupled with the quickly spreading omicron variant, means appointments are booking up fast.

Two days after Christmas, Wild Health says it’s doing more than 3,000 COVID tests a day, which is double the number of tests that were being done at the beginning of the month. Lines of cars zigzagged in the parking lot and backed up down the street at Wild Health’s U.K. COVID test site Monday.

“This is the busiest I’ve seen it,” says Emily Spivey, Wild Health Director of U.K. Relations. “It’s definitely more than we’ve seen in a long time.”

Wild Health says a few weeks ago, people could get in and out of the test in about 20 minutes, but Monday, some people were waiting up to an hour and a half. Wild Health says nearly every appointment is filled each day and morning slots are usually taken first. The testing site at U.K. offers both rapid and PCR tests and Wild Health says both test types are filling up quickly.

“We are considering extending our hours if that’s needed with the community but I would definitely recommend getting an appointment in the afternoon,” says Spivey. “It should be shorter lines, should be easier to get in and out of too.”

Wild Health says it plans on keeping around 3,000 testing slots open into the new year, especially as Kentucky sees more cases of the Omicron variant. For people getting tested, seeing these long lines brings mixed emotions.

“On the aspect of healthcare, it’s nice that people are taking the precaution, but as a civilian it’s worrying that so many people have to get tested still after almost two years of COVID,” says Audrey McCracken while waiting in line for a COIVD test.

Wild Health says not to let the long lines or quickly filling appointments stop you from getting tested if you feel sick or have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“We’ll try to staff as many people as possible to open up more appointments if that is what we can do but we’re just going to try to help as many people as possible,” says Spivey.

To book a COVID test with Wild Health, click on the link HERE and fill out the information on the website.

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