Lines for COVID-19 Tests Climb as Cases Continue to Rise in North Texas

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As positive cases of COVID-19 once again are on the rise, North Texans are running out to get tested for the virus weeks after one major holiday and days away from another.

At Neighborhood Medical Center in North Dallas, they said they're now testing more than 200 people per day. Texas SkyRanger flew over a busy drive-through testing site along Northwest Highway and Abrams in Northeast Dallas where dozens of cars were parked with people waiting inside for tests.

The latest spike in the virus is attributed to holiday get-togethers and the omicron variant, which is believed to spread more easily than other variants.

Officials at Parkland Hospital in Dallas said they anticipate a spike in patients in the coming days, though nowhere near the rise in cases they saw this time last year before vaccines were readily available.

Dr. Joseph Chang, Chief Medical Officer at Parkland, cautioned families against relying solely on rapid tests before gathering for family events.

"They can sometimes be negative when they're in fact positive and they can be positive when you're in fact negative, so it's a little bit of a false sense of security when we do these tests," Chang said.

Those at the Neighborhood Medical Center said they expect the surge to continue and will repeat a few weeks after Christmas.

Medical teams tracking the omicron strain of the virus said it still appears to be less severe than the delta variant, but that it spreads more easily.

Experts still advise that if you're going to a large indoor public space, consider wearing a mask. And if you're not feeling well and plan on visiting family, consider a test before getting together.

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