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Despite requiring appointments, CenturyLink testing site still has hours-long wait

Posted at 12:12 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 00:12:27-05

LEE COUNTY — Fox 4 is working to find out what is being done to make COVID-19 testing more available in Lee County.

We visited the CenturyLink testing site Thursday. The rules have changed, so you now have to have an appointment to get tested, but the wait times were still hours long.

The line of cars stretching down Ben C. Pratt Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. is becoming a familiar sight for people looking for a test in Lee County.

Drivers tell us they needed the tests offered at CenturyLink Stadium for various reasons.

"I have to be on a plane tomorrow, so I hope the results come back soon," said Elicia Medina.

"My son-in-law is with COVID, and he was at home, so I want to be sure that I’m not with COVID,” said Lurdes Fernandez.

Both Medina and Fernandez told us they were willing to wait to get tested for hours because they couldn't find another option.

"I went to several pharmacies, but no one has any tests," said Fernandez.

"We’ve been trying to get appointments at like CVS and Walgreens and all those places, but it’s been full," said Medina.

We reached out to CVS and Walgreens.

CVS told us it’s trying to make at-home tests more available, saying “We’ve added a limit of six test kits per purchase.”

Walgreens told us it’s taking a similar approach, saying “We put in effect a four item purchase limit on at-home COVID-19 testing products.”

But for now, while it isn't convenient, the line at CenturyLink Stadium appears to be the most reliable way for people in Lee County to be sure they get tested. So they tell us, they’re willing to wait.

"I want to be sure, so it doesn’t matter the time I have to be here," said Fernandez.

We also took the time to reach out to the County and to the company that runs the CenturyLink site, Nomi Health. We asked about what is being done to improve wait times.

Nomi Health did not respond to our questions, and the County told us it would respond after the New Years holiday on Monday.