PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you’re planning to get a post-holiday COVID-19 test, clear your schedule. Because demand is so high and supply is short, the testing site on Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia had to turn people away on Tuesday.
It appears a lot of people are looking to get tested due to the most recent COVID outbreak.READ MORE: Philadelphia City Council Introduces 'Life-Saving Ordinance' Following Fairmount Fire That Killed 12
There’s also a line of cars waiting to get into a testing site in Gloucester County. They’re administering free PCR and rapid testing for whoever wants one.
The mobile testing site in Northeast Philadelphia was at capacity within a half-hour of opening.
There’s no appointment necessary. It’s first come first serve, so people arrived early hoping to get tested.
Dr. Cheryl Bettigole from the Philadelphia Health Department says there are more people testing positive for COVID now than they’ve seen in the last two years. And that hospitals are packed with people experiencing COVID symptoms.READ MORE: New Study Finds States With Weaker Gun Laws Have Higher Rates Of Gun Deaths
She says it’s critical for those who are not fully vaccinated or boosted to take extra precautions by masking up and staying away from indoor gatherings.
Bettigole says the number of positive cases is skyrocketing, with numbers as much as twice what they were last year and mirroring numbers from May 2020.
Individuals testing Tuesday say they want to ensure they’re protecting loved ones this holiday.
“We can only accept 125 people because of the amount of cases that have been increasing,” Jose Gandulla, of Oak Street Health, said. “We reached our capacity before it even started and simply for logistical reasons that we cannot step beyond that number because these tests do have to go to a lab. And to make sure that everyone does get their results in the timeframe that is promised to them, we can only allow 125 people.”MORE NEWS: Social Media Photo Of Student With BB Gun Led To Academy Park High School Lockdown, Delaware County DA Says
The Northeast Philadelphia testing site closes at 1 p.m., while the site in Gloucester County will remain open until 7 p.m.