LOS ANGELES — Long lines at COVID-19 testing sites across Los Angeles County are becoming a common sight, as more people are tested after traveling and gathering with family over the holidays.
For those with health insurance or an extra $100 to spend, urgent care facilities are providing shorter wait times and quick results.
What You Need To Know
- In the last seven days, over a 100,000 people have taken COVID-19 tests in L.A. County
- The positivity rate is creeping up to 17%
- Officials believe the surge is worsening because of holiday gatherings
On Tuesday, Nick Bortman was in line to receive his very first COVID-19 test. He chose a Sherman Oaks urgent care because it was one of few places he found where he could walk in, get tested, and have his results all in a matter of an hour.
"[This urgent care] said it was only about a half-hour wait, which judging from a bunch of other places I’ve called seemed really short," said Bortman. "There’s one place that was saying four hours, which seemed very crazy,” Bortman said.
In the last seven days, over 100,000 people have taken COVID-19 tests in L.A. County, as the positivity rate creeps up to 17%. Officials believe the surge is worsening because of holiday gatherings.
Living in London for many years, Bortman returned home to L.A. to visit family for Christmas. It was a tough decision, he said, going against health officials’ advice not to travel.
"It didn’t feel particularly socially responsible, but on the other hand, my family lost our father this year," he said. "It felt like it wasn’t the year to stay home."
Now he feels it's his responsibility to get tested before kissing his stepmother goodbye and boarding a flight back to the U.K.
Just 30 minutes after getting his nose swabbed, Bortman said his results came back negative. However, the waiting doesn't stop there. He counts down the days until he can get the vaccine, and for that, he doesn't mind standing in line.