DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Pandemic perfect storm.  That’s how some experts are describing the COVID-19 battle heading into the holidays.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is now clashing with party and travel plans made when it appeared that life was edging closer to normal.  So the hard-to-get item right now? A rapid COVID-19 test.

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“Trying to be proactive, make sure everything’s cool,” says Robert Reynosa while waiting in the COVID-19 testing line at Mountain View College in Dallas.  Like so many patients seeking out testing in North Texas, Reynosa isn’t motivated by symptoms. He’s thinking of family.

“I got family from out of town coming; some siblings, my Mom’s a little older,” explains Reynosa, “I just want to make sure everything is good before they come to the house.”

Reynosa decided to make the drive from Forney after being unable to find any testing slots nearby.  He’ll have to wait 48 hours for results.

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But in other locations, the wait times can be longer, and over-the-counter rapid antigen tests are nearly impossible to find right now.

As with most hard to locate items, it pays to check what is available at various locations.  A testing site in Keller today had rapid antigen tests available as well as the PCR test.

“The demand is high, so plan accordingly before your celebrations or your travels,” says Christian Grisales, PIO for Dallas County Health.  Grisales is also encouraging the community to take advantage of the warming weather to help fight COVID-19.

“So, if you can move your celebrations outdoors, then do it,” says Grisales.  ” We need to take every precaution that we can take to prevent the spread of this virus, because we don’t want people getting sick, we don’t want people going to the hospital and we don’t want people to die.”

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“So, if you can move the celebrations outdoors, that allows you to be socially distanced from people who might have COVID-19 or may not be vaccinated. Go ahead and do that as well. Let’s be safe.”