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COVID-19 testing sites are packed as omicron cases spike across Arkansas

Many people are flocking to local COVID-19 testing sites after returning home from holiday travel.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — After more than 100 million Americans were expected to travel over the holidays, people are scrambling to get tested for COVID-19.

If you've been looking for the at-home tests, you might be out of luck.

Cars lined the streets in Fayetteville Tuesday, Jan. 4, as people tried to get tested for the virus.

The recent wave of omicron cases made those at-home tests hard to find.

President Biden announced that more than one million at-home test kits were on their way to the Natural State. Following that announcement, Governor Asa Hutchinson says he's not sure when that federal supply will make its way to Arkansas.

Marie Tusttin with Stateline Lab in Poteau says they prepared ahead of time for this high demand of tests.

“We are expecting a surge in testing which we have already started experiencing since Christmas," Tusttin said. "We have prepared for this, we stocked up on testing, we bought a new PCR machine to be better prepared for this got round for the surge.”

In the meantime, people are turning to in-person testing sites as insurance of accuracy.

“I don’t really know anything about the at-home test, so I don’t know how efficient, you know, how good the positives are, so we wanted to come out and make,” said Amanda Thulin as she waited in line for a test.

Arkansas reported more than 6,500 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, making it the highest single-day number of positive cases since the pandemic began. 

Experts say if you do get your hands on an at-home test to closely follow the directions for accurate results.

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