Days before the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19 testing sites are seeing longer lines of people who want to get tested for the coronavirus.
Outside MD Family Clinic on Marsh Lane in Dallas, drivers lined up for curbside testing.
“The lines are going to get longer and longer. We’ve seen an increase in lines over the last two or three weeks,” said Rafael Pomales, a physician assistant and testing provider.
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Pomales said people should not travel for the holidays, but if they must gather, they should get tested first and wear a mask. But even a negative test is not a free pass.
“That doesn’t give you a guarantee because the test is only testing for that moment in time,” Pomales said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said there has been a big increase in people getting tested at the county's sites.
The Ellis Davis Field House has the capacity to do 1,000 tests a day and reached that number — a fivefold increase over the last two weeks, Jenkins said.
As the county sees a record-breaking surge in cases of the coronavirus, officials and healthcare providers are concerned the numbers will continue to grow following Thanksgiving, especially if people gather in large numbers.
“[The] ideal situation is you have Thanksgiving with only the people that you live with or those you know have really been strict ... what they call the quarantine bubble — your group of people who you know are doing the right thing by masking up and quarantining,” Pomales said.
He said it’s important for people to keep their guard up and try to stay optimistic.
“What we have to consider is that if we want to see our family next Thanksgiving, we have to do what is the safest thing to do this Thanksgiving, Pomales said. "And that goes for now, Christmas, New Year’s and until we get this vaccine."
You can find lists of testing sites on the website for your local health authority, or by going to the state coronavirus testing site.