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Businesses on Mahan Drive unhappy with long lines for rapid COVID-19 test results

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - COVID-19 testing is turning into traffic jams; long lines of cars have been lining up since late last week at the Patients First on Mahan Drive to get tested.

The testing site is offering rapid results in about 15 minutes. Drivers say they have waited four to five hours to be seen and, as the day went on, there was more honking and yelling, but even through it all, many people say they’re going to wait as long as they need to get their rapid results.

“I would probably say that I still have about seven more hours to go,” said Alec Altschul, who was waiting in line to get tested. He said that after waiting two hourso n Magnolia Drive.

Like many drivers waiting to get tested at Patient’s First, they say it’s worth it to get same-day results.

“If I do somewhere else, I have to wait four to six days and I kind of want to know now so I don’t have to lock myself in my room,” said Joseph Powell.

But some businesses in the area aren’t happy.

“The traffic is bumper to bumper,” said Marilyn Flowers, owner of several businesses on Mahan Drive. “They’re blocking driveways.”

She’s starting a petition to get the testing location moved somewhere with more space.

“Our customers, they’re not going to fight to get in to the parking lot,” she continued. “We have to fight.”

Hours behind the wheel is a price drivers are paying to be safe.

“Yeah, we’re young and may not be susceptible to die from it, but we still might spread it to my parents, grandparents,” Powell said.

As of Monday afternoon, there were about a half-dozen signatures of business owners on that petition. WCTV has reached out to Patients First for a response, but we have not heard back.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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