DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A long line of cars weaves through the parking lot of the Neighborhood Medical Center in Dallas daily now, as people wait to get tested for COVID-19.

This week, the clinic began hiring off duty police to keep order.

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“It’s kind of shocking,” said Lynley Lovelace, who wants to be reassured her cough isn’t being caused by COVID.

“I’ve been here for an hour,” she said, hopeful she’d have results soon.

She couldn’t find anywhere else that could her in for an appointment.

“I think I looked at 12 different places that were all out today that I wouldn’t be able to go to,” she said.

The Neighborhood Medical Center in northwest Dallas has offered drive-thru testing on demand since March. In the last couple weeks, it’s seen demand grow.

“Oh, a massive jump,” said Alyssa McElya, who oversees the clinic’s testing. “Most of them are sick. They’ve been exposed. They have a gnawing headache.”

Line to get COVID-19 test in Dallas (CBS 11)

On Thursday, Nov. 12, 435 people showed up, a new record for the clinic.

The state also broke a record this week for the number of new COVID-19 tests performed.

So far, more than 100,000 Texans have been tested each day.

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Those numbers are only expected to grow, as Thanksgiving draws closer and people want to take precautions.

“We’re expecting massive amounts coming in,” said McElya. “People want to visit their families. They want to go out of town. They want to get ready of that.”

Saivon Valencia Llanos is used to large Thanksgiving reunions.

Thursday, he waited with his wife to get tested so that he could feel at ease just seeing one relative – his mother.

“We have a lot of high risk family members,” he said.

The newlyweds were already forced this year to postpone their big wedding celebration.

Keeping Thanksgiving simple and safe is, in comparison, a small sacrifice.

“It sucks. But, it is necessary, so I’m not going to make a big fuss about it,” he said.



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