Crowded parking lots and long lines of vehicles are the kind of visuals you'd expect to see on Christmas Eve, but for thousands of North Texans those lines reflect growing concern over the rapidly spreading COVID-19 omicron variant.
Alyssa McElya is seeing it all.
“We’re seeing a lot less symptomatic with Omicron," McElya said. A slight headache, a slight cough but they’re testing positive.”
McElya runs this testing site off the Dallas North Tollway for Neighborhood Medical Center, an Addison-based family practice that added COVID-19 testing when the pandemic started.
McElya has seen each wave and each variant up-close which is why when demand for daily tests here went from about 100 last week to over 700 on Thursday, she said it spoke loud and clear
“It tells me people are scared, tells me people aren’t feeling well and it tells me people are trying to protect others that they love,” McElya said.
Long lines of vehicles were also seen lining up at a COVID-19 testing site off E. Northwest Highway and Abrams Road in Dallas. No one with the site shared information on how many tests were administered.
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Dallas County HHS predicted this week its 7-day average of 300 positive daily cases would rise soon. The county reported 874 positive cases on Thursday.
McElya says the positivity rate is increasing too, up to 25% on Thursday, the most recent day available.
“We don’t know statistics about omicron right here because we don’t do the sequencing here but positivity rates are going up day by day, higher and higher,” McElya said.