Florida sees sharp increase in COVID-19 testing ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

ORLANDO, Fla. — Experts expect to see more long lines at COVID-19 testing sites this week across Central Florida ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Health experts suggest that anyone hoping to travel for the holiday should be tested before their trip.

With cases starting to rise in Florida, is COVID-19 testing going up too?

Watch: Coronavirus: Florida sees COVID-19 spike ahead of holiday season

Testing is going up, but an epidemiologist explained the data indicates there’s more to the story.

“We are, unfortunately, headed in the wrong direction,” said UF epidemiology professor Cindy Prins.

Watch: Officials warn holiday gatherings could add to COVID-19 surge

More and more Floridians are experiencing COVID-19 firsthand.

There have been 9,319 newly diagnosed cases in Central Florida in the past week.

The uptick in cases is pushing more people, even those without symptoms, to get tested ahead of Thanksgiving.

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Between Nov. 15-19, testing compared to two weeks prior went from being up just 3% to being up 45% as of Nov. 20.

Data also shows cases are now up 66%.

The Orange County Convention Center once again had two-hour lines snaking through its parking lot in the last week.

Watch: Orlando family describes their experience participating in COVID-19 vaccine trial

The Orange County Health Department is now offering testing at its Barnett Park site on Saturdays and Sundays.

The hope is expanded testing will help alleviate the one- and two-hour waits seen these past couple of weeks.

County health officials said that the busiest time for the testing sites is right when they open and before they close.

See the full report in the video above.