'Even if I have to spend the whole day here I'm thankful': Long COVID testing lines continue locally

Cars fill the Patient First parking lot as COVID testing options dwindle
Posted at 1:20 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 17:16:58-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Cars filled the parking lot of the Patient First Primary and Urgent Care on Holland Road as people waited hours for a COVID-19 test.

"I've been out here for about two hours," said Kayla Putman, one of the many people waiting in their cars outside Patient First.

Putman says she got in line at 10 a.m., and by noon, she still had about 40 people ahead of her in the queue.

"I have at least another hour left before I'm even seen," Putman explained. "This is just to get my information now, not to even get an actual test."

Vehicles nearly crashed into each other as the Patient First parking lot filled to the brim. People also parked on the grass, and cars waiting in the queue filled the parking lot of a Little Caesar's next door.

This comes as other urgent care clinics in Hampton Roads have shut their doors to walk-ins. NowCare Urgent Center, for example, is now testing by appointment only.

Receptionists say appointments are booked within just minutes of being posted online. That's why Putman says she doesn't mind waiting in line.

"All the other sites have been booked up. Patient First is the only place that is taking walk-ins," she said. "Even if I have to spend the whole day here, I'm thankful for that. But it's getting a little crazy."

Patient First says they will continue to offer both PCR and rapid COVID testing, but due to high demand, tests are only available to those showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Related: Surge in COVID-19 testing slowing turnaround times in some labs