Long lines seen at multiple COVID-19 testing sites in Raleigh as delta variant spreads

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As the COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread, long lines are once again being seen at testing sites in the area.

The line on Monday morning at the testing site on Departure Drive in Raleigh was three cars deep in the parking lot and backed up into the street and around the corner onto Oak Forest Drive.

Departure Drive isn’t the only testing site in Raleigh seeing long lines. Another site on Kidd Road also saw backups on Monday morning.

COVID-19 testing numbers are going up dramatically in Wake County. Last week, CBS 17 reported that testing had increased by 40 percent in the county.

CBS 17’s Steve Sbraccia was at the Departure Drive testing site on Monday and spoke with several people waiting to get tested – many of them already vaccinated.

“I need to get tested even though I am fully vaccinated,” said Jessica Martell. “[I’m] slightly worried but I feel being vaccinated gives me an extra level of protection.”

Linda Horn was also getting tested on Monday morning and she, too, has already been vaccinated.

“I just attended a conference and one participant tested positive so it was suggested we receive another test,” Horn said, explaining why she was waiting in line.

Kirsten Johnson also showed up on Departure Drive to get her college-aged daughter tested. She said she was surprised to be waiting in a line.

“It’s amazing to see the people,” she said.

At the start of the year, Wake County said it administered 145,000 tests in the month of January.

By June, spokeswoman Stacy Beard said that number had dropped to 7,500.

Last month, she said testing jumped to 12,893, and nine days into August, the county said its vendors have already tested more than 15,000 people.

The county said most of the people coming for tests now are fully vaccinated.

That was the case with Matt Lee who came to be tested because he was feeling sick.

“I’m worried it could be the Delta variant and I’m trying to be safe,” he said. He had been fully vaccinated previously.

Linda Horn is also fully vaccinated but was getting tested.

“I just attended a conference and one participant tested positive so it was suggested we all get another test,” she said.

Currently, county testing sites shut down at 5 p.m., but Beard said officials are now actively looking at extending the hours of sites as testing demand spikes.

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