Dec 21, 2021 - COVID

COVID-19 testing interest spikes

Illustration of simplified Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer, with a COVID ball as the nose.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

COVID-19 testing is spiking heading into a busy holiday weekend and the rise of the Omicron variant.

By the numbers: City data provided to Axios shows testing demand started surging Thursday and Friday.

  • 1,955 people were tested at city-run sites last week, up from 1,576 the prior week.

Why it matters: Fast and reliable testing remains a pivotal tool in the fight against the virus, particularly as millions of Tennesseans prepare to travel and visit with family members this weekend.

  • The Omicron variant and rising case numbers are creating testing strains in other parts of the country, although Nashville officials say local sites are running smoothly.

The details: Testing and vaccination sites off Charlotte Avenue and outside the old Kmart on Murfreesboro Pike will remain open with normal hours through Thursday.

Zoom out: More than 2.6 million Tennessee residents are expected to travel for Christmas, according to AAA projections.

  • That's a 35% jump over last year.
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