GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- Hospitals and testing sites in South Carolina are seeing a surge in positive cases of COVID-19.
Prisma Health said this has caused longer waiting time for testing sites.
The Omicron variant is the latest to contribute to the growing lines and wait times, Prisma Health officials said.
Peggy Dickerson and her husband were in just one of many cars on Wednesday lined up at McAlister Square getting tested for the coronavirus. They were among dozens who waited.
“Over and hour,” Dickerson said. “We made our appointment this morning and it said to be here 5 minutes early for an 11:00 appointment.”
In South Carolina, Prisma says numbers of positive cases are up.
“It’s stunning, even for experts, how contagious this variant is,” Medical Director of the Center of Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, Dr. Helmut Albrecht said.
They had 85 COVID patients in the hospital on December 1.
That number today is up to 223.
“While those numbers are obviously disturbing, we’re all tired of the toll it’s taking on our lives and loved ones. The problem is the virus is not tired of us,” Dr. Albrecht said.
Prisma adds they’re experiencing staffing shortages as well.
Amid this surge, a handful of upstate testing locations are now requiring an appointment.
“We are much better at preparing for this than in the earlier spikes, but it still doesn’t make it easy,” Dr. Albrecht added.
Prisma is urging people to have patience.
“Everybody is increasing their testing abilities; everybody is pulling back lab people and medical people back into their facilities. As a reaction to this we have prepared for this,” Dr. Albrecht said.
Prisma said they’re considering opening additional testing sites, but that’s something that will require more discussion.
For a list of testing sites and to find out if they require an appointment or not, click here.