Long lines at Maryland COVID-19 testing sites as hospitalizations, cases rise

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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — What was pre-holiday testing demand has turned into post-holiday testing demand, as long lines for COVID-19 tests returned at sites on Monday.

At Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, an hours-long line had formed well before the clinic opened at 11 a.m. on Monday. It was advertised as a drive-thru testing site, but those who showed up with hopes of waiting in their warm car for a quick swab soon realized they would be waiting outside in the cold.

“We were expecting a drive up, so a little surprised but, we’re patient and we are happy to have an opportunity to get the test done,” said Joyce Barnett, who showed up at the Lakeforest site 30 minutes before it opened, only to find the line was already hundreds of people deep.

The long line, cold rain, and low temperatures didn’t stop families from waiting in line to get the swab.

“There’s no other way, we have to wait. I don’t know how long it’s gonna be, probably like a couple of hours in this cold,” said Mauricio Lamy, who brought several family members with him to be tested.

Both Lamy and Barnett told WDVM Reporter Randi Bass they were prepared to wait for several hours, or as long as it took, to get their tests.

Hospitalizations are now above 1,700 in Maryland, the highest number since January of this year, and test positivity is above 16 percent, more reminiscent of early-pandemic positivity rates.

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