LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Some COVID-19 testing lines are getting shorter.

On Friday, lines at the CenturyLink Sports Complex COVID-19 testing site in Fort Myers showed just a few waiting — a stark contrast from earlier in the week, where hundreds of cars were lined up.

But this isn’t because demand is slowing down — rather that most places require you to have an appointment.

As of Thursday, the Florida Department of Health said that because of the number of available tests, only people who are experiencing COVID symptoms should be getting tested.

At CenturyLink, there was nothing to stop someone without symptoms from signing up online on Friday. But at other sites, like Curative in Cape Coral, or the Edison Mall, the lines were much longer.

“It’s up about 30, 40 percent,” said Mary, a medic at the Edison Mall testing site.

Operators at that site said they’ll help anyone who shows up, but will periodically close down in order to process tests.

“So we stop it at 20 cars, and then open it back up again and accommodate it for everybody. Then we have to shut down for short periods to catch up on results,” she said.

Still, with the Omicron variant fueling the increased demand for testing, they still try to help every person they can, going through about 400 tests a day.

“It is hard to turn them away. Because everyone is scared,” Mary said.

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