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Hours in line? North Texas COVID drive-thru testing sites seeing long wait times amid omicron surge

Health experts say the latest omicron surge has testing sites scrambling to keep up. Over-the-counter tests are in rare supply giving patients few options.

DALLAS — It is not just frontline health care workers dealing with the recent surge in omicron cases. It is also being felt at testing sites where workers are scrambling to manage the influx of patients.

"It's bad, it's horrible...but it's worth it. I just don't want to get friends and family sick," said Ferney Arboleda. One of the Arboleda boys was hoping to get tested for the latest COVID-19 variant so he can return to work. They parked outside a testing site at a Toyota Stadium parking lot in Frisco.

The Frisco testing site is run by Nomi Health, which is a direct health care company based out of Utah.

"Definitely this variant is quite infectious and quite difficult to manage," said chief technical officer Boe Hartman of Nomi Health. 

Hartman says the latest omicron surge has testing sites scrambling to keep up. Over-the-counter tests are in rare or no supply which is pushing patients into these long testing lines.

"When we do see spikes like this we do hear people talk about wait times," said Hartman. The wait at the Frisco location is estimated anywhere between one and three hours. "A number of sites are contracting with lack of test availability or they're getting hit by COVID themselves," he said.

Meanwhile, Rockwall County announced a change in testing vendors in the city of Fate after the public said results took too long to return.

"All American Testing failed to return test results in the promised time. The City of Fate has selected a new vendor Curative to takeover testing in Fate," read a statement from Rockwall County of Emergency Management.

Hartman tells WFAA that Nomi Health has far fewer issues than most other testing sites. WFAA could not independently verify this claim. 

Hartman also says most sites and personnel are just adjusting to the surge and should be at peak efficiency soon. He expects the wait times to go up in the very near future.

Nomi Health says it is partnering with Dallas County Health to open up a high capacity testing site by Wednesday. That site will be Ellis Davis Field House in southern Dallas County.