By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Long lines formed Monday at Tropical Park in southwest Miami-Dade where people waited in their cars to be tested for COVID.

The site is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and has been busier lately due to concerns about the county’s positivity rate at or near eight percent over the weekend.

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“I live very close by and it has never been this crazy. I am trying to determine if I should stay in line or not,” said Sol Waxman who said he’s taking no chances. “I am just getting tested as a precaution. I am double vaccinated and boosted but it is always good to take precautions.”

Waxman said he was there to protect others.

“For my office, to make sure that everyone in my office is safe, and everybody around me. I am not so worried for myself, I feel fine, but the spreading of the virus is bad so I’m just getting tested,” he said.

While most people at the park were there for testing, the site also offers vaccinations.

Amid a surge in cases in the state and nationwide, there are also concerns about the omicron variant. The state reported more than 30,000 new covid cases since last Friday.

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Pauline Debeche was there because of her Christmas plans.

“I am going to take a trip. I am going on a cruise,” she said.

Her words of advice to everyone.

“Get vaccinated. Everybody should get vaccinated,” said Debeche.

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, saying the safety measure is needed.

“We are going to be in for some serious difficulties right now, and we better be doing more to mitigate against that. It’s never too late to get vaccinated, and if you’re vaccinated, go get boosted and be prudent in everything else you do, when you travel, when you’re in indoor settings that congregate, wear a mask. It’s going to be tough.”

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A University of Florida report said with the omicron variant there could be as many as 40,000 new COVID cases a day in Florida before we reach a peak in February.

Peter D'Oench