Long lines, rush on tests as Americans begin holiday travel

Coronavirus

(NewsNation Now) — Hourslong waits and zig-zagging lines for COVID-19 tests are being seen all across the country.

From suburban Maryland to Atlanta to Washington, D.C., there seems to be a rush to get tested everywhere as lines are wrapping around blocks.

Of those rushing for tests, most said their urge to get tested coincided with travel plans or spending time with family.

Ahead of the holidays, and amid a surge of omicron, people are saying they just want to be careful.

“We’re hosting a friend for Christmas Day, so I want to test before she comes and she’s going to test before she comes over and then we’re going to my in-laws after that so I want to test again when we go to their house and then again when we come back home,” said Susan Seutter, who was picking up a test. “So really, I need nine tests to get through the holidays and this is just putting a small dent in it.”

Tests are hard to come by in many parts of America.

When NewsNation checked, not a single take-home test was available in the greater Los Angeles area at CVS or Walgreens.

Amazon is now limiting how many of some home tests people can buy at one time.

In Washington, officials are offering residents limited free tests. People are limited to two boxes and two tests per kit.

“It’s really hard to find tests so I think this is the fastest way that people are getting tests,” Brooke Zagone said as she was picking up a test.

Washington, D.C., is setting an especially alarming record. According to the Washington Post, it is now the number one out of all U.S. states and terroritories for new COVID cases, ballooning 369% in just one week.

“We’re getting hit hard,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “We have a lot of COVID in the community. We have had a lot of testing, but we also have had a lot of transmission.”

Travel expert Peter Greenberg joined NewsNation Prime to discuss what travelers need to be prepared for ahead of the holidays.

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