KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A long line wrapped around the Truman Sports Complex on Monday filled with desperate people waiting for answers.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services set up a drive-thru clinic near Kauffman Stadium over six days during the next two weeks.
Some sat in line for about three hours waiting for their turn to self-administer a COVID-19 test.
“I’ve been tested twice before,” said Dierick Birch, who got tested. “First test was negative, the second was positive so I’m getting a third test today to see where I stand.”
“I just woke up with a sore throat and I read that that’s one of the main symptoms, and I decided to try and find a COVID test and it was really difficult,” said Brianne Fitzpatrick, who got tested.
Fitzpatrick said the new testing site came at the right time while pharmacies and doctor’s offices are jampacked.
“It was very rare,” Fitzpatrick said. “I mean I tried everything. CVS was no appointments, Walgreens was no appointments, so it was very discouraging.”
And that was the same story for other people waiting in line as well who hurried and made an appointment when they learned about the new testing site.
The testing vendor, AIM Laboratories out of St. Louis, said there was a reason behind the long lines. One is staffing.
“We were supposed to have 15 people here; there’s about seven people,” Sonny Naqvi, president & CEO of Aim Laboratories, said.
Naqvi said they anticipated 1,500 people to come out, and that number doubled quickly.
“We had an AT&T communication breakdown,” Naqvi said. “I’m not 100% up on IT, but I know that there was awhile where we were not able to connect and that slowed down our communication system and our intake process.”
He said moving forward, the best way people can help the lines move faster is knowing how to self-administer their test.
People said despite the long wait, they’re happy they could secure a spot to get some type of answer.
AIM Laboratories is looking for volunteers in the Kansas City metro to help.