COVID-19 testing in Worcester: Two weeks later, where have all the lines gone?

·1 min read
People seeking a COVID-19 test at the Mercantile Center are able to walk right in Monday afternoon. Two weeks ago, people faced long lines.
People seeking a COVID-19 test at the Mercantile Center are able to walk right in Monday afternoon. Two weeks ago, people faced long lines.

WORCESTER — Lines for COVID-19 testing at the Mercantile Center have shrunk considerably from the hours-long waits that residents dealt with at the beginning of the month.

UMass Memorial Health, which operates the testing site, has recorded a week-over-week decrease in people seeking PCR tests at the facility. According to numbers provided by the health system, 1,986 tests were conducted over three days at the Mercantile Center over three testing days, while 3,197 tests were conducted two weeks ago over three testing days.

City officials have expressed cautious optimism that the city has seen the peak of the surge in COVID-19 cases that came along with the spread of the omicron variant. City Medical Director Dr. Michael Hirsh has been hopeful that cases may be down by early to mid-February and that the city may see more stability in spring.

People wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 at the UMass Memorial Health testing center inside Mercantile Center in Worcester Monday.
People wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 at the UMass Memorial Health testing center inside Mercantile Center in Worcester Monday.

On Jan. 5, the city was reporting record-breaking COVID case numbers and resources being stretched thin because of the surge. As of Friday, Worcester has seen a decline in cases, but rates remain high compared to previous periods of the pandemic.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: COVID-19 testing at Mercantile Center Worcester. Where have lines gone?