Hours-long waits plague Wake County COVID-19 testing sites as demand skyrockets

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Thursday saw yet another day of long lines for COVID-19 testing in Wake County.

Dozens of people waited to get tested for COVID-19 at a site on Kidd Road in Raleigh.

Rosa Mann, who was one of many waiting in line, said she didn’t expect to wait in a line this long.

“I just wanted to get tested.  [I think it’s] very important.  Very important,” she said.

The line of cars extended roughly two blocks from the entrance. People CBS 17 spoke to in line said they came to get tested for different reasons.

Wake County said it has seen demand for COVID-19 testing more than double in recent days.

Several urgent care facilities have reported three-hour waits for testing.

While people getting tested waited in their cars, the workers at the site on Kidd Road, covered in PPE, pushed through hot temperatures.

“Well, it’s really hot. It is almost close to [Las] Vegas numbers. It’s 102 [degrees] right now. You got nurses over there throwing up. They have a cooler fit for two people,” said a worker who chose to be anonymous.

A county spokesperson said the vendor for the site has safety protocols in place:

  • Monitor and educate staff on heat-related stress, warning signs, prevention, suggested actions/remediation.
  • Ensure testing site staff are given appropriate breaks to deal with heat and other weather conditions during periods of high heat, everyone should get a 15-20-minute break roughly every hour. This may vary depending on weather and other environmental conditions.
  • When the heat index meets 110 degrees or greater, operations will be halted or moved indoors.
  • Ensure staff has access to cooling towels, fans, drinks, and other heat stress prevention supplies.
  • Recommend additional heat-related prevention processes or equipment as needed.

Starting Monday, all five drive-thru testing locations throughout the county will run Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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