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Long lines form outside Palm Beach County coronavirus testing site

Aerials of long lines at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
Posted at 9:35 AM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 17:39:23-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Coronavirus testing ahead of Thanksgiving has led to long lines at one of Palm Beach County's drive-through sites.

A view from WPTV Chopper 5 on Tuesday morning showed vehicles wrapped around the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach.

The lines were so long that traffic was backed up on Haverhill Road as vehicles were waiting to turn onto the testing site property.

"It’s like, who knows what happens tomorrow. But at least we can try and go today," said Maridae Teuchert.

Maridae and Bob Teuchert inched along in the long line. before driving to Orlando to see their son for Thanksgiving.

"We have a grandchild and we haven’t seen him yet and my son wants us to get tested," said Bob Teuchert.

And over at the Triple O Research Institute in West Palm Beach, Arleen Poitier got tested ahead of the holiday and before heading home to the Bahamas next week.

"My parents both of them are 80 so we have to be very cautious my father has hypertension," Poitier said.

Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi is an infectious disease specialist and said getting tested is smart, but does not guarantee a safe holiday.

"Even if you’re truly negative at that time and then on your way home, you get exposed before you get home, you can potentially expose your family members," Dr. Osiyemi said.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County told WPTV that testing is up 10% to 15% at the ballpark because of the holiday, but warned the turnaround time has been two to three days, which would make Friday more likely to receive the results.

Health officials are encouraging people to keep gatherings small for Thanksgiving.

Carol Ann Vitani with the Florida Department of Health in Martin County doesn't discourage that but said not to let that give you a false sense of safety.

"Remember, testing is great, but you could test now and depending on what you do after you could be exposed," Vitani said.

The U.S. has now recorded at least 100,000 cases of COVID-19 each day for the last three weeks.

On Monday, at least 169,190 new cases of the coronavirus were recorded throughout the U.S., marking 21 consecutive days that the country has seen at least 100,000 new COVID-19 cases.

The FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is a drive-through site for people with or without symptoms, but by appointment only. For patients experiencing symptoms the ballpark is also administering rapid antigen tests.

For more information and to make an appointment, call 561-642-1000 orclick here.