COVID testing surge causes traffic jam on 28th Avenue

COVID Testing Surge
Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 19:16:31-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the lead up to Christmas, usually everything moves at a fast pace.

Everything — except the line for the COVID-19 assessment center at Charlotte Ave and 28th Ave.

"I didn’t expect this," said Muthu Jayaraman, who was in the long line.

So many people tried to get a last minute COVID-19 test before the holidays, the line snaked around two parking lots and out into 28th Avenue.

"Here it’s just so many cars," Jayaraman said.

Most shared the same mission.

"My parents just came from India so we just wanted to take the test," Jayaraman said.

"We have family coming in though so we just want to keep our grandparents safe and everything," said Olivia Bartol, another woman in line.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said that's a great idea, even if you're fully vaccinated.

"We could be vaccinated and boosted and have a very mild infection, but we could still be a dreaded spreader and give the virus to those in our family who might get seriously ill," said Dr. Schaffner.

He said, if you don't want to sit in a long line, you can get an at home COVID test.

"The home testing option is a very good option because it’s quick and you can do it at home, obviously. You get the answer right away," said Schaffner.

But they do have one significant downside.

"Those home tests are not quite as accurate as the rigorous PCR tests. You can have the occasional false positive and the more frequent, false negative," he said.

They can also be tricky to find. NewsChannel 5 tried a few different pharmacies and they had some, but not many, in stock. A representative for CVS Pharmacy told us in a statement:

We continue to work around the clock to provide our stores with inventory of the five over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 testsw we offer: Abbott BinaxNOW, Acon FlowFlex, Quidel Quickvue, Ellume, and Pixel by LabCorp. In the event a store experiences a temporary shortage, our teams have a process in place to rapidly replenish supply. Due to a recent surge in demand, and to retain community-based access to tests in our stores, there may be temporary out-of-stocks for these products on []. We’re committed to providing families with protection and peace of mind during the holiday season, and we continue to offer access to lab-based testing with results available in 1-2 days or rapid COVID-19 testing at more than 4,800 CVS Pharmacy locations.
CVS Pharmacy

This Thursday, Dec. 23, is the final day to get a COVID-19 test at a Metro Nashville Public Health Department location before Christmas Eve and Day.