JACKSONVILLE, Florida – COVID-19 cases continue to reach record highs across the country ahead of New Years Eve.
As we head into the holiday weekend, the options for getting tested are limited.
City-sponsored COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites with Agape Family Health and the Florida Department of Health in Duval County are closed Thursday and Friday.
So unless you find a home test, you may have to wait until Monday to find out if you have COVID-19.
Erika Rawnsley said she spent three hours looking for a test on Thursday after finding out she had been exposed to a positive person.
“So I called CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to see if they had any in stock and they all just said no,” Rawnsley said.
But eventually she found one.
“Then one of the friends called a Winn-Dixie pharmacy and they said they had one and would keep it for 10 minutes if I went to pick it up now,” she said.
Rawnsley was far from the only person who wanted to be tested on Thursday.
For the third day in a row, Telescope Health’s test site at Neptune Beach reached capacity before the end of the day.
Avecina Medical’s six locations are open Thursdays and Fridays, but they don’t have appointments until Monday, unless you’re willing to pay $ 150 out of pocket for a quick PCR.
Meanwhile, News4JAX couldn’t find any appointments available at CVS or Walgreens until next week.
And Chad Neilsen of UF Health Jacksonville is reminding people not to go to the emergency room unless it is an emergency.
“We are starting to see some people coming to our outpatient care centers, some of them coming to our emergency department looking for tests and this is just not the right way to go,” said Neilsen.
If you think you might be sick and testing isn’t available, Neilsen says to quarantine and stay home until you can.
LISTING: COVID-19 test sites in Northeast Florida | RELATED: Do Home COVID-19 Tests Detect the Omicron Variant?
As for Rawnsley, her home test came back negative, but she says she’s going to quarantine herself for a few more days just in case.
There were a lot of questions about whether home tests can detect the omicron variant after the Food and Drug Administration said they might be less sensitive to detect the variant. Medical experts say the test is still extremely helpful, but if the test comes back negative and you’re symptomatic, it’s probably best to quarantine and wear a mask until you can get a PCR.
Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.