PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The long lines and hours-long wait times for a COVID-19 test are gone in some places as new sites open to provide more options.
In the parking lot of the Mandel JCC in Palm Beach Gardens, Rosie Maltass helped administer COVID-19 tests on Monday, trying to help ease the burden and backlog at testing sites across the county.
"Once people found out that we're putting up these test sites, we're getting a lot more people show up," Maltass said.
As omicron continues to spread, the JCC opened this site Monday knowing there is a need in the community and at-home test kits are in short supply.
"We anticipate doing between 300 and 500 a day throughout the week. We're looking to open at our location in Boynton Beach later in the week," said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the Mandel JCC.
Testing sites have also opened at the Jewish Community Synagogue in North Palm Beach and the new Chabad of Jupiter.
With more options, the lines were minimal Monday at the Gardens Branch Library off PGA Boulevard, a stark contrast from exactly two weeks ago when lines snaked down the street.
"Having said that, the number of cases in the hospital are still pretty high. We're still seeing quite a number of admissions," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Oliyemi Osiyemi.
Osiyemi said the shorter lines may be because the rush is over after the holidays. He believes omicron has not peaked in Florida and omicron isn't done yet.
"It's gonna take time for this to completely go to a good level of infections, so we still need to be very vigilant," Osiyemi said.
For now, these sites will still be another option for the community.
These three organizations will be providing the testing indefinitely, six, days a week, as long as there is a need.
The Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches’ Palm Beach Gardens location; the new Chabad of Jupiter on University Boulevard; and the Jewish Community Synagogue in North Palm Beach will all host a COVID-19 testing site outside of their facilities. They will also be distributing thousands of at-home tests.
Pre-registration for an appointment will streamline the process and offer people the best, fastest experience. Walk-ins will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, dependent on space available, from 10 am – 6 pm.
Each testing site will offer PCR testing, rapid antigen testing, and a limited supply of at-home test kids. Testing is free if you do not have insurance. You must bring a valid ID.