The Tampa Bay Area is seeing a surge in demand for COVID-19 tests following the holidays, and as a result, residents are having to wait up to four hours in line to get tested.By Casey Albritton

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The Tampa Bay Area is seeing a surge in demand for COVID-19 tests following the holidays, and as a result, residents are having to wait up to four hours in line to get tested.

Barbara Tripp with City of Tampa Fire and Rescue says “The people who should come get tested are the ones who are experiencing some sort of distress.”

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This is the advice the City of Tampa is giving people when it comes to going to local COVID-19 testing sites.

“If you are vaccinated and you have been boostered, you’ve received your booster shot, and if you’ve been exposed to someone who is positive and you’re asymptomatic, there’s no need to come and get tested,” said Tripp.

That’s because following New Years Eve, the Tampa Bay Area is seeing a spike in demand for COVID-19 tests.

“Over the holiday weekend we were able to test about 5,500 individuals,” said Tripp.

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On Tuesday and Wednesday, the City of Tampa reported on Facebook that people were waiting in line for COVID-19 tests for up to four hours.

The city has a testing site open at Al Lopez Park and another at Al Barnes Park. Hillsborough County has two sites open at Progress Village Park and West Tampa Community Resource Center.

“Currently there’s not issues with supplies, but I see there will be because everyone wants to get those rapid tests done,” said Tripp.

Kesley Richardson with Hillsborough County Emergency Management is recommending people have patience when they show up to these testing sites and plan ahead.

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“Come prepared, be safe. We have been doing covid for a long time, so come with your bottle of water or your chair depending on what your need is. If possible, go with someone else who needs to be tested, so if you need to go to the bathroom, they can stay in the line or vice versa,” said Richardson.