MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Are you planning to get tested before the holidays? If so, make sure you’re planning in advance.
At places like Tropical Park, the county’s busiest testing site, wait times are up to over an hour.READ MORE: Giant Asteroid To Safely Zoom By Earth On Tuesday
“It’s an inconvenience, but Florida hasn’t been good about the mask mandate so these are the consequences,” said Claudia Garcia of Doral.
They’re testing up to 7,000 people every day. Now, the county is working on extending the hours of operation at several test sites.
There are plenty of tests available, but due to a spike in COVID-19 cases and proactive planning ahead of Christmas, almost every site throughout Miami-Dade county is experiencing longer wait times.
“It’s crazy. I wish more people got vaccinated, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” says Raul Echemendia of Coral Gables.
The county is looking at extending operational hours at FTX arena as well as Dolphin Mall, where today we saw crowds of people waiting for PCR tests.
“We’re here because our daughter came down with COVID. A break-through case. She’s vaccinated and has her booster shot,” says Lourdes Echemendia of Coral Gables.
According to doctors, the Omicron variant is 2-4 times more transmissible and is being found in 80% of positive cases.READ MORE: Citizen Scientists Discover Giant Jupiter-Like Planet
“I just wish we were back to normal,” says Echemendia.
The new variant, throwing a major wrench in holiday plans.
“It is a challenge because you do want to be able to have fun but at the same time you do have to keep yourself safe,” says Echemendia.
Tropical Park’s testing site is operating 24 hours a day. The key to getting in and out quickly is timing. Employees suggest, come out later in the evening, wait times drop significantly after 7 p.m.
“Now with all of this I’m sure people are going to have to start taking measures again,” says Garcia.
For Jorge Ferro and many others, getting a negative result is the last thing needed before it’s full-on Christmas mode.
“You just don’t want to have any worries. Be happy and enjoy the holidays!” he says.
If you want to get tested and avoid the line, it’s also important to register ahead of time. Click here to do that.MORE NEWS: On This MLK Day, Some Mobilize To Protect Voting Rights
Click here to see where you can get tested.