CoronavirusNewsThe SouthSider

600 cars in line at area COVID-19 testing site

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The latest COVID-19 surge in Missouri has residents scrambling to get tested, but having difficulty finding a place to do it.

Urgent care centers, pharmacies and other places offering COVID-19 tests are struggling to keep up with demand. In the small town of Winfield, Mo., about 50 miles northwest of St. Louis, a state-sponsored site had been, until recently, administering about 50 tests per week.

But by 11 a.m. Wednesday, an hour after the site opened, 600 cars were waiting in line, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, citing comments made by Winfield police to the state health department. The traffic backup was so bad that police and city officials closed the site due to safety concerns.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Lisa Cox said the department planned to add an additional testing site in St. Louis this weekend, three sites in St. Louis next week, and one to three sites in Kansas City.

Current area sites include:

  • Every Monday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    IBEW Local #1, Parking Lot
    5850 Elizabeth Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Every Tuesday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Legacy Bar & Café
    Delmar Plaza, Parking Lot
    5261 Delmar Blvd
    St. Louis, MO 63108
  • Every Wednesday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    * Closed December 29
    Winfield County Market
    11 Winfield Plaza (parking lot)
    Winfield, MO 63389
  • Every Thursday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    IBEW Local #1, Parking Lot
    5850 Elizabeth Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Every Friday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    * Closed New Year’s Eve, December 31
    Warren County Health Department Fitness Center
    Parking Lot
    3920 North Highway 47/@ Corner of Isabella
    Warrenton, MO 63383
  • Every Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    * Closed New Year’s Day, January 1
    Machinist Lodge #777, Parking Lot
    12365 St. Charles Rock Rd
    Bridgeton, MO 63044

The state’s COVID-19 dashboard reported on Thursday 2,265 people hospitalized with the virus, the highest number since August. Health experts across the state say the surge is far from over.

“We anticipate things will get worse before they get better,” said Dr. Hilary Babcock, a Washington University infectious disease specialist at BJC HealthCare. “The case numbers are really staggering, and are rising at a pace that we have never seen before.”

In Springfield, CoxHealth had 66 inpatient COVID-19 cases two days before Christmas. The hospital had 110 a week later. A hospital study found that 94.6% of those hospitalized earlier this week were not vaccinated.

The Kansas City region also is being hit hard, with 1,809 new cases reported in the metro area on Wednesday alone. The total includes cases in Kansas City and its suburbs in both Missouri and Kansas.

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