You might not have found huge crowds at the stores this Black Friday. Those folks may have been waiting in lines, just for a COVID-19 test instead.
The lines remained long in Connecticut the day after Thanksgiving.
The state said it currently has more than 240 testing sites.
Since the pandemic began, more than three million COVID tests have been conducted in Connecticut.
Some, but not all people at the Community Health Care site in New Britain told us they waited close to three hours to get to the front of the line.
"It's just a long wait," Colleen Harrison of Bristol said.
No one told us they went to some big super spreader Thanksgiving Day event. For many, it had to do with work.
Tiffany Teat of Manchester spoke with us before getting her 16th COVID test.
“I do an internship in a nursing home for my grad school degree so... it’s to keep safe anyway so I need to know. It’s annoying to get it done, but I’m glad I do have to do it because at least I know that I’m keeping myself safe and everyone around me safe,” Teat said.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who spoke during a news conference outside a Hartford Healthcare testing site in Newington, said in a year when very little has been normal, add people swapping Black Friday shopping for a COVID test.
“You may be here, not at the malls this year, Back Friday this year means COVID testing, yes, but we will get through it,” Blumenthal said.
Hartford Healthcare staffer Melaysia Rivera told us across the state, the health care provider is seeing the size of the lines going up from where they were on Thanksgiving Eve.
“Our numbers are increasing, and we’re trying our best to sit here and get these patients through the lines, in and out,” Rivera said.
Beyond finding a testing site with the shortest possible line, people also need to consider what type of coronavirus test they will take.
Doctor Jim Cardon, a cardiologist by training who heads the coronavirus testing program for Hartford Healthcare, said compared to the rapid tests, the PCR test is the most accurate, sensitive and specific.
“That’s important for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Some of the other more rapid turnaround tests are less sensitive, especially for people who don’t have symptoms, and can’t really be relied on,” Cardon said.
All these different testing methods do create some confusion, according to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who added this is one among many reasons, why he believes there should be a national, standardized test for coronavirus.