RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Following the Thanksgiving holiday, people sought out COVID-19 tests on Monday as Wake County officials prepared to open another free testing site to meet demand.

Paola Sardi said her family limited Thanksgiving celebrations to their immediate household. However, people she knows through her job tested positive for COVID-19.

“A whole bunch of people went out and did other stuff. At work, there’s some people who came out positive. So, just to be safe we decided to do (get tested) as well,” she said.

On Monday, there was a steady stream of cars driving into the Sunnybrook parking garage, which is a drive-through testing site run by Wake County near WakeMed in Raleigh.

Tara Mills, who lives in Apex, brought her family to be tested as well. She said her extended family decided not to have a big together this year.

“We separated ourselves. My daughter had it at her house. I had it at my house,” she said. However, the next day, she said there was a concern about a possible exposure, leading her to seek out testing Monday.

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, state health officials advised against traveling or large get-togethers. But, they said if people intended to travel anyway, they recommended getting tested for COVID-19 three to four days ahead of time.

That led to long lines in the days before Thanksgiving. On the holiday itself, the state reported results from 63,536 tests, the largest single-day number since the pandemic began.

Some labs processing those tests have reported increasing turnaround times as demand for testing increases.

“The nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases is contributing to growing demand for our COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing services,” Quest Diagnostics noted in a press release. “These dynamics are pressuring our testing capacity, causing delays for test results.”

CVS notes results “typically take three to four days.” As people try to schedule a test online, the company notes, “Test supplies are extremely limited.” Rapid tests can offer same-day results if those tests are available.

In an email, Labcorp spokesperson Nadia Damouni wrote, “LabCorp is experiencing a rise in demand for COVID-19 PCR testing across the nation, and we remain focused on increasing our capacity to stay ahead of it. Our current capacity is about 250,000 tests per day. Our average time to result – from the time the specimen is received – is currently 24 to 48 hours.”

The state Department of Health and Human Services said on Monday the turnaround time for test results is 2.7 days on average.

That’s still below turnaround times people experienced during the summer surge, when people waited a week (sometimes longer) to get their results back.

As more people seek out COVID-19 tests, Wake County is partnering with Radeas to open another free site Tuesday at 5809 Departure Drive in North Raleigh near Triangle Town Center. It’ll be open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. While you’re encouraged to make an appointment, it’s not mandatory. It’s free for any resident of Wake County, and you do not need proof of insurance to get a test. You can sign up here.

Eugene Chalwe, the county’s COVID-19 operations manager, said with the new testing site health officials wanted to find a new location that would be convenient for people living in this part of the county. He said it’s also in a Zipcode that’s been concerning when it comes to the spread of the virus.

County epidemiologist Dr. Nicole Mushonga said as people return from Thanksgiving travel, they’re encouraged to get tested right away if they’re experiencing symptoms. If they aren’t, they should wait three to five days after traveling to get a test, per CDC guidance.

She said the advice at Thanksgiving not to travel and to avoid large gatherings hasn’t changed as Christmas and other holidays approach.

“We’re not recommending people gather at this point in time just because we are seeing an increase in cases. And, it’s concerning if we have people gathering indoors as temperatures go down. And, we don’t want to see that increased spread within the community,” she said.

She also cautioned that getting a test before traveling is not a guarantee that it’ll be safe to visit others.

“The challenge with the testing is that it’s testing at a moment in time. So, it tells you on that day if you’re negative that you’re negative,” she said.