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COVID-19 testing in high demand in Texas leading up to holidays

Covid testing
Posted at 7:59 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 18:18:56-05

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Central Texas begins to climb again, the demand for testing is also surging.

Many pharmacies in the area are booked up for testing appointments for days and at-home tests are rare to come by. This comes as just yesterday, Texas DSHS reports that more than 70,000 Texans received a test.

Although there may be less options heading into the holiday weekend, Dr. Jason Bryant, M.D., medical director at Premier ER & Urgent Care, told 25 News that there are still options available for people seeking quick results.

"We knew this was coming, so we've been able to order plenty of supplies to stay ahead of it," Bryant said. "Of course, you never know how it's all gonna come together, but we're prepared at least for now."

YesNoCovid Testing, a drive-through service located at Richland Mall, said while it is not worried about limited supplies, it may not be able to get to everyone each day before closing.

"We haven't really been seeing an issue with inventory or anything, but we have been seeing an issue with being able to service everybody within our operating hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m," said Hide Noda, operating manager of YesNoCovid.

On Wednesday afternoon, the line for the testing service stretched the entire length of the parking lot. Hide said demand has tripled in recent weeks and recommends that people come as early in the day as possible to the first-come, first-serve testing service.

The surging demand comes as the omicron variant spreads across the country and people prepare to gather with family and friends for Christmas.

"Over the past few weeks, the incidence of COVID has gone way up and also the need for testing has gone up as well," Bryant said.

Both Premier ER and YesNoCovid offer rapid antigen tests and PCR tests.

Doctors urge anyone who has been exposed to the virus or has symptoms to get a test and to stay at home until the results are ready.

A full list of COVID-19 testing sites in McLennan County can be found here. A full list of sites in Bell County can be found here.