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Lines to get tested for coronavirus are growing long ahead of Thanksgiving and amid rising cases

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

People wait on a line stretching around a block, outside a CityMD urgent care clinic offering COVID-19 testing, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in the Park Slope area of the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

As US coronavirus cases soar and people seek tests ahead of Thanksgiving travel, long lines are forming outside testing sites around the country, appointments are filling up, and commercial labs are warning that their capacities are being stretched.

(CNN)As US coronavirus cases soar and people seek tests ahead of Thanksgiving travel, long lines are forming outside testing sites around the country, appointments are filling up, and commercial labs are warning that their capacities are being stretched.

And while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended not traveling for Thanksgiving and encouraged people to celebrate in person only with their own households, some health officials have offered competing messages about how -- and whether -- people without symptoms should get tested if they insist on gathering for the holiday.

In Massachusetts, where officials are urging even asymptomatic people to get free testing in certain communities with elevated spread of the virus, people sat in cars for up to four hours Tuesday at Lawrence General Hospital's drive-in site north of Boston, CNN affiliate WBZ reported.

In Seattle, four city-run testing sites recently went from accommodating more than 3,000 people per day to more than 5,000, Seattle fire Capt.

San Francisco officials, for instance, are begging people to not use the free testing offered at 19 city-run sites solely to make themselves confident in Thanksgiving travel.

Daily infections there are climbing, and city resources need to be focused on testing people who have symptoms or who've had close contact with an infected person, the city's Covid Command Center said in an email to CNN Wednesday.

The city's sites are testing nearly 6,000 people daily, and results on average take 24 to 48 hours, the center said.

They are encouraging people to get a drive-thru test at one of its free sites before Thanksgiving, CNN affiliate KTVU reported.

In Seattle, officials are asking people with no symptoms or known Covid-19 exposure to avoid getting testing at the city's free sites, KIRO reported.

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