LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – We’ve seen plenty of images this month as people waited to get at-home COVID-19 test kits.
But this is something different: These people are waiting to get tested for the virus in-person.
“We (are) all in one household, so it was good to come out here and wait as long as it took. So we all know that we’re gonna be okay at the end of the day,” said Michael Daniels, a Youngstown resident.
Even though we haven’t seen demand like this since the early days of the pandemic, staff at Quickmed Urgent Care Centers in the area have been this busy the last couple weeks.
“We saw an immediate spike,” said Dr. Lena Esmail, who works at the care center. “We went from seeing about a hundred patients a day to now we’re seeing up to 400.”
While demand is way up, so are the numbers for patients here who have the coronavirus.
“Our percent of positive patients, we went from about fifteen to twenty percent, up to thirty-five to forty percent,” Dr. Esmail said.
Some of the people in line were waiting more than two hours to get through this line to get tested, rapid test results coming back in about fifteen minutes while they wait.
Some of those here admit they’ve been surprised by COVID-19’s resurgence, especially with the fast-spreading omicron variant.
“Yeah, I thought we (were) finished with the booster and everything. But it’s not… it’s not. Everybody has to take care of themselves,” said Lillian Lozano, a Youngstown resident.
Dr. Esmail said staff ordered testing supplies in advance, anticipating a spike in demand based, in part, on what they were already seeing several weeks ago at one of their clinics in the Medina area.
“What we notice is, whatever is happening in Medina County happens here three weeks later,” Dr. Esmail said. “Medina County is starting to reach a new peak, and we’re not nearly where they are yet.”
She predicts the Valley will continue to see growing case numbers for the next several weeks.