COVID-19 testing sites in Boston see long lines on Thanksgiving Eve

BOSTON (WHDH) - Many of Massachusetts’ 300 coronavirus testing sites, including those in Boston, saw long lines of people looking to get tested before Thanksgiving.

Tufts Medical Center had to stop taking walk-ins around 11 a.m. on Wednesday due to an overwhelming amount of people who were flocking to the hospital to get tested.

The hospital had to take the same action on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday as well because of lengthy wait times.

Many Bay Staters are opting to get tested with the hopes of comfortably attending Thanksgiving gatherings, but Tufts officials say the turnaround time for tests is usually two to three days.

“I just wanted to make sure that my family is safe,” Shawna Gomez said while waiting in line.

Gomez was able to make it into Tuft’s testing site just before it closed.

Dan Thorn was not as lucky.

“My first reaction was I saw thee was no line – which surprised me but I was like, ‘This is great!’ But obviously great for the wrong reason,” he said.

People who undergo a test on Wednesday likely won’t know if they have the virus before the holiday.

“I really want to spend time with my family and if I don’t get the test by Thanksgiving then we won’t have Thanksgiving at all,” Gomez said.

Elected leaders said testing may give people a false sense of security and that getting together over the holidays may contribute to the spread.

“It is true that health centers are testing more patients the ever before so some people are thinking this is safe to gather,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “Honest to God this is not the right time to do it.”

Drive-in sites were also seeing huge lines.

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