EL PASO COUNTY, Colo (KRDO) -- As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, more people are choosing to get tested ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
"I was kind of shocked about the line, all the way back there," Jazmine Stuckey said, while waiting at the Citadel Mall testing site Monday.
According to the El Paso County Health Department, wait times vary by location, averaging 20-25 minutes to over an hour at some sites. But, residents in line Monday said it was well worth it.
"With everyone saying how easily this spreads, it's not worth the risk," Michael Terry said.
Peak hours remain early in the day, the health department said, as testing locations open.
"We've continued to remain steady in our amount of people getting tested," El Paso County Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program Manager, Lisa Powell said.
However, officials caution a negative test now is not a guarantee of a coronavirus-free Thanksgiving.
"I think it's really important for us to recognize exactly what a negative test means. It means you're negative at that moment. It doesn't mean that tomorrow you'll be negative or because of the way the virus incubates, it takes some time," El Paso County Public Health Medical Director, Dr. Robin Johnson said.
Johnson said it's important to consider, given the lack of information testing provides in the days following a negative result, especially as the county moves to level red on Friday.
"This is really targeted at each of us as an individual to bring home the message that it's imperative that we each play our part, and stand in that gap, saying COVID ends with me."
For a complete list of testing sites and hours, visit the El Paso County Health Department website.