COVID-19 testing numbers drop significantly from Thanksgiving 2021

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to know if there has been an uptick in COVID-19 testing.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to know if there has been an uptick in COVID-19 testing.

“The pandemic is not over yet, unfortunately, but we’re getting there and if we just test before we gather, we’ll be much safer,” said Jeffrey Soriano, paramedic supervisor with AMR.

With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, cars are lining up at the Eastfield Mall to get tested before holiday gatherings, including Leonard Peltier of Wilbraham, who is hoping mashed potatoes is the only thing he passes to his loved ones this Thanksgiving.

“Just insurance’s sake, ahead of getting together with friends and family,” Peltier said.

Although Western Mass News caught a few cars at the drive-thru testing site on Tuesday, Soriano told us that COVID-19 testing has significantly dropped at the Springfield location compared to last Thanksgiving. In 2020, Soriano said the site saw thousands of people a day and last year, they were still seeing several hundred daily. However, this year, they’re only performing about 100 PCR tests a day. He said he hopes one reason for the decline in attendance at the site is access to home test kits.

“If you haven’t had a chance to get a PCR or rapid test, it would be a good idea before any gatherings,” Soriano added.

However, there are still people like Peltier who prefer the traditional PCR test ahead of big events.

“Not convinced home tests are that accurate, so I figured I’d come down here and get one before Thanksgiving,” Peltier explained.

Tuesday was the last day to get tested at the Eastfield Mall ahead of Thanksgiving. Soriano told Western Mass News that the site will be closed Wednesday and Thursday since the state laboratory will be shut down for the holiday. Testing will resume on Friday.