LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Staff at Sparrow’s drive-in site in Frandor say they’ve been seeing an increase in patients coming in for testing and they don’t have enough staff to handle it.
The average wait time at their Frandor location is two hours. They’re testing more than 500 people a day, and with more and more people driving without an appointment, they say it makes the process longer.
Waiting in line a long line to get tested for COVID-19 isn’t fun for some.
“It took me about an hour to get in though,” said Eric Saites, a patient waiting to get his COVID-19 test.
While for others they’re happy to see many people taking extra precautions.
“It makes me feel better, I wish more people would do this,” said Doug Wilson, a patient waiting in line to get his COVID-19 booster.
For the staff, they say the demand is overwhelming.
“There’s a line as soon as they open at 6 a.m. and there’s a line when they close at 8 p.m. So there’s a line the whole day, all day and it feels like you’re never going to be able to get it all done,” said Lisa Denman, Supervisor at Sparrow’s Frandor site.
Denman says they noticed the increase after the Thanksgiving holiday.
For many like Saites, he spent the holidays with family and friends. “Couple of my buddies thought they had it, so I thought I’d be safe.”
“I think there’s an increase because of the flu season that we’re in, and the holidays and people traveling. I think that’s why we’re seeing an increase right now,” said Denman.
For some just driving in without an appointment, it makes the process even longer.
“It makes it so much faster and easier if they can get that order in the system, that’s what the delay is. It takes the registration people inside quite a bit longer to register them,” said Denman.
The increase in testing also means Sparrow is in need of more staff.
“Right now they’re trying to pull staffing from different departments to help us here because we’re seeing so many patients,” said Denman.
Today, President Joe Biden announced at-home testing for COVID-19 will now be covered by insurance which will make it easier for staff and patients.
“I think that will help us with our line slowing down. We won’t have to meet the need of seeing 500 to 700 people a day,” said Denman.
“Seems like a good idea, saves me from this trip seems like I’d be into it,” said Saites.
Until President Biden’s announcement goes into effect, officials at Sparrow are encouraging everyone to schedule an appointment ahead of time for a faster visit.