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Long lines remain but with less chaos on day two at Cleveland 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
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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.

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 Hayes 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 a parking lot 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 yesterday, it was still not ideal, according to test seekers in line around 8:30 a.m. -- a half an hour before the site was set to open. 

"Oh my God. It's just overwhelming," said Sheryl Malone, who was trying to get tested after she said 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 to get tested at the public site after an overwhelming number of people signed up and showed up at the University Circle site to get tested on Tuesday. Authorities turned vehicles away after the site was overwhelmed 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. 

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