'A lot of frustration:' Lines at COVID-19 testing sites see increased wait times

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Because of a recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, the lines forming at those free community testing sites are getting longer.

Cars were lined up at the National Guard testing site at UMOS on Chase Avenue Wednesday, July 8, with people waiting to be tested. 

The line stretched back to the parking lot and out into the street. 

Patrick Gell was one of several hundred people who made the decision to get tested Wednesday.

"A couple people that I know, I was in contact with one of them who tested positive for it, so I did my due diligence and came and got tested," he said.

He went to the Wisconsin National Guard free coronavirus testing site at UMOS.

What he didn't expect was the long wait time.

"The two-hour wait was kinda long, just 'cause I got here right when it said it opened."

"There's a lot of frustration," said Wisconsin National Guard Lt. Col. Bonnie Tallarita. "We're dealing with it the best we can, but we are having people that are frustrated right now for the long line."

About 50 members from the guard are helping administer the nasal swab tests.

They also have to take breaks because of the extreme heat.

"We have five lanes going on right now, which is a lot to handle in this heat. We have to take breaks like every hour, 'cause it just gets overheated. Very busy, and I think it's gonna go like this all day."

The guard says there's a number of factors why the wait times have increased, including people wanting to get tested because of the recent spike in positive cases, and because the site was closed over the weekend for the holiday.

If you need to get tested, the Wisconsin National Guard says the best times are in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 p.m.

Testing is free, and you don't need to have any symptoms.

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