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San Diegans get COVID tested ahead of holiday travels

With coronavirus cases surging nationwide, locals are hitting COVID-19 testing sites ahead of their holidays' travels. KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel has more from the South Bay.

Chula Vista's COVID testing site at City Hall was busy Monday, with many people looking to get tested ahead of holiday gatherings.

This testing site was free and open for walk-ins.

"With everyone getting together with their families, I needed to make sure I'm good," Christian Martinez, a Chula Vista resident, said.

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Alexandra Rangel / KPBS
A sign in front of a COVID-19 testing site is pictured at Chula Vista City Hall on Dec. 20, 2021.

His test results won't be ready for three to four days, and it's the longest he's had to wait for results, he said.

Josh Sanders, a captain with the Chula Vista Fire Department, said their numbers have been consistent.

"We are seeing a small uptick in participants and people coming by, but we do see about 100 to 150 people a day here," he said.

Mica Miragliotta is a recent transplant from New York. She said some of her friends had been impacted by the spike in cases there.

Over the weekend, New York saw massive lines of people looking to get tested for COVID-19.

"It's wild. I saw someone was in line for hours, four or five hours, just waiting for a test," she said.

Miragliotta went to Chula Vista's testing site because it had walk-ins available. She said other sites in the county were all booked for appointments.

"The testing site is going to be open-ended and there until we need it," Sanders said.

County-operated COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and will resume on Sunday.