'It's a wait everywhere': Holiday rush brings long lines outside Milwaukee COVID-19 testing site

NOW: ’It’s a wait everywhere’: Holiday rush brings long lines outside Milwaukee COVID-19 testing site

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The holiday rush means long lines, and longer waits, for COVID-19 testing.

CBS 58 visited one testing site in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood that's seen a recent spike in clients.

As the minutes passed, the line continued to grow outside of the Free COVID Testing Site (FCTS) facility at Holton and Locust.

People were patient, but Rachel Stenman was surprised by the wait.

"Of course in New York the lines are super long, I've been hearing all about it, but I didn't expect to walk up to my neighborhood clinic today and see that the lines were also long," said Stenman.

FCTS provides free COVID-19 PCR and rapid testing at this facility and its second location in Greenfield.

Staff said they've seen upwards of 120 patients on some days in Milwaukee.

This location has been open just two months.

"It's non-stop. Sometimes from 9a until 12 p.m. We might get a break between 1p and 2p and back in again at 3p or 4p to 5p, because again, you have people coming off of work," said FCTS COVID screener Sir Lawrence Tender.

Andrea Pratt told CBS 58 her daughter may have been exposed to the virus at school.

"Well we came (to FCTS) yesterday and tried to get a test but it was like 5 p.m. and they said it was 20 people ahead of us," Pratt explained.

Their at-home test gave an unclear result, so they returned Tuesday to be sure.

"Yeah, I guess it's a wait everywhere, and even if you go online and try to make appointments at pharmacies you aren't able to get in," said Pratt.

Free COVID Testing Site is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

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