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Long lines remain, but less chaos on the second day at University Circle COVID-19 testing site

The line to enter the public COVID-19 testing site wrapped around the block from the corner of Carnegie Avenue and East 105th Street to the intersection of Stokes Boulevard and Carnegie Avenue, seen here. [Virginia Bardwell]

Long lines of cars were back on the second day of public COVID-19 testing at the W.O. Walker Building in Cleveland, but the situation was more orderly than on Tuesday. 

Cleveland police officers were on scene directing test seekers and those trying to traverse University Circle.

Officers were using the parking lot at nearby John Hay Campus High School as a staging area to keep the crush of waiting vehicles off the surface streets. 

Test seekers showed up early -- some arriving before 7 a.m., said a parking lot attendant who was monitoring another lot reserved for those with appointments unrelated to COVID-19 testing at the Walker Building. 

Although the situation for those seeking a COVID-19 test was an improvement over Tuesday, it was still not ideal, according to test seekers who were in line around 8:30 a.m., a half hour before the site was set to open. 

"Oh my God. It's just overwhelming," said Sheryl Malone, who said she was trying to get tested after she was exposed to COVID-19 at work. 

She tried to find at-home test kits and make appointments at pharmacies and doctors' offices before heading to the testing site. 

"Their appointments are so far off," she said. 

Yesterday, officials paused registration for appointments at the Walker Building site after an overwhelming number of people signed up and showed up at the University Circle site on Tuesday. Authorities turned vehicles away Tuesday afternoon. 

Those in line this morning were hopeful that wouldn't happen again and that the test results will offer some certainty heading into the holiday.  

"We're trying to lock it down as best we can before the holidays," said Josh Jenkins, who was waiting in line for testing this morning with his family. "We're not symptomatic, but we're trying to play it safe."

A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health, which is staffing the site with Ohio National Guard members, said it is unknown when registration will reopen and how long the site will be operating. 

Photos courtesy of Virginia Bardwell

Stephanie is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.