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'I’m very frustrated' | 2022 begins with same long lines at Houston's COVID testing sites

On the first day of 2022, many people spent hours waiting in line at Houston's COVID-19 testing sites.

HOUSTON — Saturday was the first day of 2022, but lines for COVID tests were just as long in northwest Houston as they were in 2021.

“I’m very frustrated,” Yolanda Hunt said.

Hunt said she showed up early and hoped to get through the line quickly. She didn’t make an appointment but said testing started late.

According to the Houston Health Department, getting up and running was slower on Saturday because some scheduled staff didn’t make it to work and they had to find others to come in.

RELATED: Feeling déjà vu? 2022 set to begin in familiar fashion-with COVID-19 surging

“I do understand it’s the holidays, but everyone has a work schedule just like I did," Hunt said.

Others in line were anxious to get tested after having limited options.

“We’ve been trying to get at-home test kits ... we haven’t been able to find those. So this is our only option right now,” Div Kumar said.

Kumar brought his sister and father to get tested, too. He said they made appointments, which the health department said is preferred, but still waited in line for a while.

RELATED: Where to get a free COVID-19 test in the Houston area

“Been here for about an hour now," Kumar said while waiting. “I wish it was a faster process knowing how long we’ve been with COVID now."

According to the Houston Health Department's Twitter account, the site was supposed to be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. "or until reading 350 tests."