COVID-19 testing sites flooded with people across Tampa Bay

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) — The omicron wave continues to spread across Florida, which is causing long lines at testing sites throughout Tampa Bay.

Local officials have opened new sites to alleviate the demand, and those in line at the drive-thru site at the Lee Davis Resource Center tell 8 On Your Side they wish it would continue to stay open.

Ellen Moragne Robinson said she arrived at 7 a.m. and was the first one in line. Cars quickly lined up behind her, reaching down 22nd Street.

“I’m glad that we have this place that we can come,” Moragne Robinson said.

Hillsborough County temporarily opened the site as well as the one at Plant City on Friday through the holiday weekend to help with testing. Both sites tested up to 1,000 people per day per location.

The sites will close Sunday at 5 p.m., at least for now.

“I think that should be open for a little while with the numbers rising so vastly,” Moragne Robinson said.

People began lining up at the city’s walk-up testing site at Al Lopez at least 90 minutes before it opened.

“I came early, and I pre-registered online but I was not expecting to see such a long line,” Patricia Scaron said.

Scaron said she woke up with a headache and wasn’t feeling well so she arrived to find hundreds of others like herself wanting to be tested.

“I’m in the health, field and the cases are just jumping as quickly you can imagine, and I can’t believe it myself,” she said.

City officials said its testing between 3,000 and 5,000 people per day. On Friday, four people collapsed while standing in line while in the heat.

“I believe they’re trying to do their best I just don’t think they expected it to get this bad this quickly,” said Scaron.

The city of Tampa said it’s planning to open drive-thru a testing site on Tuesday.

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