RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There have been more than 13,000 COVID-19 tests completed each day this week in Wake County — with a new record set Thursday, officials said.
A surge of COVID-19 cases means a surge of COVID-19 testing, especially ahead of the Christmas holiday.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services partnered up with MAKO Medical to open an additional testing site in Raleigh to help with the huge need for testing.
But, shopping centers were not the only places with long lines on Christmas Eve.
By 6 a.m. on Friday, people started waiting in line for the drive-thru testing site at the Word of God Fellowship Church on Rock Quarry Road.
“Just trying to get a test. We got here pretty early,” Susan Sinden said, who was in line before the testing site opened at 7 a.m.
Another Triangle resident echoed Sinden’s remarks and couldn’t believe the length of the lines by the time she got there.
“It’s crazy, we thought we were early,” echoed Karen Jones, in a different car, looking at the line in front of her.
By 8 a.m., the line was more than half a mile long.
“Since it’s (one of the only ones) open today, I figured it would be this way,” Donna Greer said.
She joined dozens of drivers and passengers, waiting to get swabbed for a last-minute COVID-19 test. Results from these tests are expected to be released within 12 to 36 hours, meaning people will find out their status either Christmas morning or midday.
“I had two negative tests and then I tested positive yesterday,” explained Samantha Miller. “My family wanted me to make sure, and double-check.”
That’s when those fast results come in handy.
Everyone in line told CBS 17 they just want to make sure their loved ones stay safe and healthy.
“I’m going to see my 92-year-old grandmother and want to make sure everything is okay,” Jones said, even though she told the family she is vaccinated. “I’d rather be safe than sorry.”
The Triangle is seeing COVID-19 cases continue to climb throughout its communities.
“I feel like during the holiday season, people go around, they’re shopping, and they see more people,” Miller said. “I wouldn’t expect (the numbers) to (be) down.”
However, Wake County did say Friday morning that it tested a record-setting 12,322 people on Thursday ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Miller, along with many people in the line, know that depending on what their tests say, they may have to change their Christmas plans.
But like other families, Miller’s is already taking precautions, no matter what.
“We go to my grandparents’ house for Christmas Eve, and now we’re doing that sometime in January,” she said.