Hundreds of people across the state wait in hours-long lines to get tested before New Year’s celebrations

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(WTNH) – The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate neared 15 percent on Tuesday, which has people flocking to testing sites.

Mall parking lots are usually jammed at holiday time, but not usually for people trying to get tested for COVID-19. A testing center at the Brass Mill Center in Waterbury was busy on Wednesday.

One woman was in line for two hours and there were nearly 100 cars in line behind her. The testing didn’t start until 8:30 a.m., but people started lining up before 5 a.m.

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“I’m trying to get tested because my fiancé is going to have a c-section on Monday and she’s got kind of a cold this week and wants everybody to make sure we’re fine,” said Jonah Bernor of Meriden.

“I came in contact with an unvaccinated person that has COVID, so I had a little scratchy throat and thought I better go get tested,” said Diane Markiewicz.

Some brought the whole family to get tested.

“Just to be sure on the safe side. Making sure that everybody is safe and comfortable,” said Miguel Rosado.

In Waterford, people started showing up more than two hours early. The town changed to a drive-thru site instead of the planned testing in a gym.

RELATED: Waterford COVID-19 testing site reaches capacity just after opening

“People can’t work unless they’re tested. Fifteen percent positivity rate and being a host community that we’ve been all throughout the pandemic, this is just a continuation of being a good community partner,” said Rob Brule, Waterford First Selectman.

In Guilford, the line for testing backed up all the way to Goose Lane. In Waterbury, the three-hour wait was getting to some people.

“It could go a lot faster. They could be a little more organized,” Bernor said.

Some people gave up after an hour in line. If you go to a testing site, leave yourself several hours to make it to the front of the line.

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