At Express Healthcare in College Park, Maryland, cars stretched all the way down the street, police helped direct traffic and some people attempting to get a COVID-19 test on Saturday settled in for an over two-hour line.
The medical center announced that over the past few months, its staff were testing between 100-200 people a day. Now, that number is up to 1,000.
“One word is discouraging, we’re sad to have to be here," manager Ward Rodgers said. "We’re setting records, but not in a good way. We are burning out our staff. They're working doubles, working all day long."
Rodgers said people could initially make appointments online, but their website crashed because so many folks were trying to book a slot.
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That’s why they’ve now had to pivot to a first-come first-serve approach.
Several people in line said that though they felt fine, they wanted to get a test as a precautionary measure because they were going to be traveling.
“I have a nephew and a niece that I’m going to see, so I just would like to not give them Covid because I know they’re unvaccinated, so I’m just trying to be extra careful,” Joseph Weil said.
Ekow Andoh said he wasn’t too worried because he socially distances and keeps he mask on.
“So I just follow the guidelines, follow the rules and I’ll be safe,” Andoh said.
The testing clinic said they used to turn around PCR results in 24 hours. Now with all the extra demand, the wait time is 48 hours.