DICKSON CITY, Pa. — Hours before the state's new COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of the former Kmart in Dickson City opened, hundreds waited in their cars, hoping to be one of the first to get tested.
"We didn't expect it to be this busy, but you know we got here around 6 to 6:30 a.m., and it's still pretty packed," said Mario Ferrer, Scranton.
The new drive-thru, outdoor testing is free to area residents in an effort to tackle the virus and curb its rapid spread.
The Lackawanna County Emergency Management Agency is running the testing site.
The director tells Newswatch 16, people started to line up at 4:30 a.m., and all of the day's tests were accounted for just an hour and a half after the site opened.
These long lines, sometimes a mile long, wrapped around local streets and parts of Business Route 6 as cars packed with people waited to be tested.
"We're elderly. We're senior citizens, and she's not feeling well. Just in the last four, five days," said Sam Spadine of Nicholson.
"We've been in contact with other people that have got it, so we just want to make sure that we're, you know, good. And the holidays are coming up, so just want to be safe," said Ferrer.
Testing is available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. till November 24.
Only 440 people can be tested per day.
Those we spoke with believe there should be more testing sites available.
"The state should provide this every day that people get tested. That way, you know, instead of spreading it, you know for sure whether you have it or not," said Spadine.
Lackawanna County emergency management officials are asking for everyone's patience as they try to accommodate everyone who wants to be tested.