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Long Lines At Covid-19 Testing Sites Ahead Of Thanksgiving

LAWRENCE (CBS) - Thanksgiving is one of our more treasured holidays. A time for extended family and friends to gather. But in 2020? Epidemiologists say it's a bad idea.

"The answer is to make the hard decision," said Dr. Helen Boucher of Tufts Medical Center. "Have Thanksgiving only with the people with whom we usually live with, to protect our vulnerable older relatives and other people so that we can have holidays together next year."

With Covid-19 cases spiking nationwide, lines for testing have swelled to hours of waiting and many are there because they anticipate a holiday gathering.

At Lawrence General Hospital Tuesday, the line was four hours. Here, too, doctors encourage testing, but discourage holiday parties.

"I think it's a combination of holidays coming up but also just the uptick in the numbers out there," said Dr. George Kondylis of Lawrence General Hospital. "I think that we are seeing that more people are testing positive so there's more positivity in the community and then you throw the holidays on top of it and I think they both are additive."

On Tuesday night, the cars snaked around the parking lot at the Square One Mall in Saugus, some waiting more than two hours to get tested.

"It seems a little crazy," said Jenna Bradley of Malden. "We got here an hour and 20 minutes ago, so we've been waiting a while."
The wait times were so long, Saugus Police stopped letting people in two hours before the drive-thru closed.

"I could not believe it when it was zig-zagging five times just to get through," said Travis Morrow of Malden. "This is insane I think we need to expand testing, get more sites or something."

Massachusetts health officials reported 2,263 new confirmed Covid cases on Tuesday. There are an estimated 32,309 active cases in the state. There were 65,468 total new tests reported Tuesday.

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