COVID-19 testing

People Wait in Long Lines Across CT for Post-Christmas COVID Tests

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Connecticut residents looking for a COVID-19 test the Monday after Christmas tended to wait in long lines or were out of luck.

At no appointment necessary sites in Willimantic, New Haven, Waterbury, New Britain and Hartford, lines of people waited for hours either outside or in their idling cars.

The site in Willimantic closed 2.5 hours early after workers ran out of tests.

A Department of Public Health spokesperson said the site went through 400 tests and had no more to administer for the day by 4:30 p.m.

“I drove past around 11 a.m. and there was already people waiting,” said Mioara Kirychuk of Willimantic, who waited in line at the testing site which was supposed to be open from 2 to 7 p.m.

“I’ve been in direct contact with somebody, so I just wanted to be on the safe side,” said Jasmine Irizarry of Hartford, standing outside in the cold with her two kids.

“In order to get back across the border, we need a negative COVID test,” said Laure Devine, an American citizen who lives in Canada with her husband.

She and her husband own a house in Guilford and drove to Hartford, about 40 miles away, for a test.

It was the closest and soonest they could find a test.

“We tried to find appointments for testing and there was no appointments, there was nothing before January in pharmacies,” she said.

Walgreens tells us they’re seeing an “unprecedented demand for testing services.”

It was tough to even log onto their website Monday, but a spokesperson tells us it has since been fixed.

They say while appointments fluctuate daily and are limited, availability will continue to evolve.

“Unfortunately I went to a party, not a huge party, but just a gathering and we were notified yesterday,” said Linda Biggs of Hartford, who questions why our state wasn’t more prepared knowing that people would want testing after Christmas.  

She traversed to multiple locations in the last 24 hours looking to get tested.

“We’ve been working on COVID for the last two years, y'all should have been more prepared," Biggs said.

Biggs is happy to hear the state will be passing out at-home tests later this week. But she’s seen in the news that New York was passing them out days ago.

For those looking for testing as soon as possible, anxiety has been high as they look for answers.

“It’s really surprising because it looked like it was getting better and now it’s getting worse again. Is it ever going to end? Is this going to become part of our lives for the rest of our lives? I sure hope not,” said Devine.

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