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Almost three-hour wait for COVID-19 tests in Wilkes-Barre

Despite the wait, emergency management officials say this site is moving smoother than the previous one.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The line to get a drive-thru COVID test at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday was a long one. Although this may be a daunting sight, officials in emergency management say this is for the best.

"It's a tremendous relief to have Kirby Park and the city of Wilkes-Barre allowing us to be in here. I'm telling you right now this is moving a lot smoother than yesterday, and we are very happy with this," said Luzerne County EMA Deputy Director Dave Elmore.

Previously, the testing took place at Penn Plaza on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, but it was not fit to handle the volume of people coming through.

"What we did yesterday is I took a poll of people actually coming out for a test," said Elmore. "The majority of them are coming here because they need a negative test to return to work, to get on an airplane to return home from the holidays, and there have been a few students that need a negative test to return to school."

Sheriff's deputies and EMA staff are able to put together a better traffic pattern here. If you get in line at Market Street, the wait for a test is close to three hours.

"That is correct. We're doing about 60 an hour, and it's about two hours and 40 minutes wait once you enter off of Market Street," said Elmore.

Officials say a form of identification is required for the test.

This site will be open weekdays this week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Watch more stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP’s YouTube page.