Long Lines For New Rapid Testing Site In Alameda

Long line forms for free rapid coronavirus tests in Alameda
Photo credit Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

The promise of coronavirus test results in just 15 minutes drew more than 100 people to a new testing site in Alameda on Wednesday morning.

CityHealth Urgent Care’s new rapid testing site was set to open at 9 a.m.

By 7 a.m., a line had formed snaking past the building and into the parking lot. 

Look how long this line is even 2 hours before the test site opens. @city_health is promising to return test results in about 15 minutes. Rapid tests are less accurate than others but a heck of a lot faster. pic.twitter.com/17rWtB6QHe

— Matt Bigler (@mattbigler740) July 22, 2020

Edwardo Pantoja was at the back of the line. "I really thought there was going to be more people. It’s not that long, honestly."

Lines at free testing have piled up in recent weeks as coronavirus cases surge in the Bay Area, creating a strong demand for tests. 

"I had to get tested in order to work," said Pantoja, an electrician. "I don’t have any symptoms or anything."

The rapid tests can be less accurate than the standard test for the novel coronavirus, with a higher chance of a false negative result. But with the strain on coronavirus tests, in some cases results can take up to a week.

The tests are free and no appointments are necessary.

CityHealth hopes to test 500 people a day and based on how Wednesday went, there likely will not be a lack of demand.