JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The infamous lines and long wait times for a COVID-19 test we saw in the summer are back. People wanting for a test at the Regency COVID-19 testing site on Sunday and Monday stood in a line that snaked around the building.
By noon Tuesday, the lines were shorter and News4Jax was told wait times for someone without an appointment were down to about an hour.
By the end of Tuesday, 2,328 antigen tests completed 425 PCR tests had been completed at the site.
Nomi Health run @FLSERT Regency Mall #COVID19 Test Site in JAX, Florida. Final numbers for Tue, 11/24:— Florida Association of Public Information Officers (@FloridaPIOs) November 25, 2020
🔺2328 Antigen tests completed
🔺425 PCR tests completed
Testing will resume at 9 AM Wed, 11/25. Site is CLOSED 11/26.
Preregister: https://t.co/BPbn4llh0C pic.twitter.com/YqReRUIxC1
The association said even those who have an appointment should be prepared to stand in line. A News4Jax employee that had an appointment waited 70 minutes, while another employee who did not have an appointment was told it would take four hours to get in and she chose not to wait. Other people at the site told News4Jax on Monday that they had about a 2½ hour wait.
“I think people mostly are going to come to get tested because they have time. Probably most of these people are off,” said Ramallah Safi said.
Soppy Soch believes the rush for testing is due to the approaching holidays.
“Just to be safe with the holidays coming up,” Soch said. “Everyone wants to try and be with family.”
Nicholas Higgins, who’s flying internationally this week, thinks people are getting tested for holiday travel.
“There obviously is a risk, but I think if people are prudent, get tested, and, if you’re sick, stay home,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household. And Dr. Mohammed Reza, an infectious disease physician with CAN Community Health Jacksonville, said: “If you’re going to travel, that testing should not be your rule of thumb to travel and see older patients because all these tests are not 100%.”
The walk-up site at 9501 Arlington Expressway is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, although the site will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Online registration and appointments are available at testing.nomihealth.com/signup/fl.
More than 1,800 COVID-19 antigen tests were conducted Sunday at the Regency site. There were more than 300 people in line Sunday morning, according to the Florida Association of Public Information Officers. In addition to the antigen tests, which produce same-day results, 391 PCR tests were also completed on Sunday. On Monday, 2,157 antigen tests and 439 PCR tests were completed.