Philadelphia now averages more than 2,100 new cases per day, up 237% in the past two weeks. It is powered by the rapidly evolving omicron variant and ongoing testing issues.
With supply being an issue, some people are denied testing sites. If you need a COVID test, long lines may be your reality.
“I’m not surprised at the turnout. I knew we would have a lot of people before and after the holidays. People wanted to spend time with their families but they too, I’m very happy, they tried to be careful about it. make sure they don’t pass COVID on to other family members, ”said Makeida Thomas, COVID site coordinator.
Queues quickly filled up at two pop-up test sites in Philadelphia, one along Island Avenue and another on West Wingohocking Street.
There is a nationwide shortage of test kits and a place in the queue is a hot commodity. Some residents, curious to know their COVID status were turned away at the end of the test.
“I don’t understand, this pandemic has been going on for two years. It should be very easy for people to get tested so that we don’t broadcast this. I have a daughter-in-law who tested positive on Monday. We are vaccinated but we have yet to be tested, ”said Nicole Birckett, of South Philly.
With the new omicron variant increasing across the country, there are more cases of COVID in the tri-state region. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health says cases are spreading like wildfire.
The Action News data journalism team has found that current cases in the city are the highest since the start of the pandemic.
Last December, the peak hit just over 1,200.
“From a pure numbers perspective, this is the peak of the pandemic right now. It is perhaps the most dangerous time as there are so many people getting sick,” Garrow said.
The city says it is doing everything it can to get more tests and has ordered hundreds of thousands more. He is now waiting to see how the Biden administration will help.
“We had contacted and asked for help and had heard nothing and yesterday at the briefing the White House announced it would be sending resources to Philly so we are still waiting to hear and confirm the details. about it, ”says Garrow.
City health officials say if you’re planning on going to a walk-in testing site, go early and if you can’t get tested right away, and think you have COVID, assume you are positive until you can get tested and isolated for at least five days.
“No matter what is going on here, you want to be safe. So the best way to be safe is to get tested and whether or not you are vaccinated you should still get tested,” Sabrina said. Williams of Upper Darby.
CLICK HERE for a list of testing sites.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved.