NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Demand for COVID-19 testing is increasing with the omicron variant rapidly spreading across the United States and leading to long lines at testing sites.
In Tennessee, omicron surpassed the delta variant as the dominant strain. The COVID testing lines are reminiscent of a past moment in the pandemic.
“I’m having symptoms, so I’m coming to get tested,” Brittney Thompson said, while waiting at a Nashville testing site.
The winter rush to get tested in Tennessee comes as COVID cases and hospitalizations are on the rise.
“It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I went to Walgreens and they weren’t taking walk-ups, but this is not bad at all,” Eric Rivera said.
However, as the day went on, more people joined the lines at the two Nashville COVID testing sites. While some are feeling ill, many joined to ensure their holiday plans are still in order.
“I’m just wanting to make sure that I wasn’t COVID positive before visiting all my family this weekend, so I know Christmas is in two days and hopefully I’ll get my test results within 24 hours,” Brennen Davidson said.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health’s website, there are over 400 testing sites in the state; some could be impacted by the Christmas holiday.
“It’s peace of mind. I’m pretty sure I don’t have it, but I don’t want to be that one who walks into Christmas dinner with COVID,” Bradley Montesi said.
Tennessee’s test positivity rate is over 15 percent, with recent daily case counts over 3,000.