DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — COVID-19 is running rampant in Alabama, infecting many and causing some to halt their everyday lives.

“We were told we can’t go back to school or work until we get the test done,” COVID test recipient, Jennifer Long said.

With an almost 45% positivity rate, thousands of Alabamians are struggling to find somewhere to get tested for COVID-19, due to the influx of COVID cases.

“We can’t get into a regular doctor for weeks now,” Long said. “We tried CVS and we can’t even get in until next Wednesday.”

“It’s been really hard,” COVID test recipient, Cynthia Peterson said. “I went on the apps, and everywhere I went it was really difficult to find anybody in this location.”

The high demand for COVID testing has caused a strain on hospitals and health clinics. Seeing this issue, the Houston County Health Department decided to host a drive-thru testing site in hopes of alleviating the demand.

“This is a little bit different than Delta, from Delta where we saw 20 to 30% positive rates, this is more like 50% positive rates so there are much more people getting exposed and becoming symptomatic,” Southeast Public Health District Administrator, Corey Kirkland said. “So hopefully this will take some demand off of other providers and off our county health department.”

The high demand for testing is not the only issue local hospitals are seeing, according to Southeast Health: “The current COVID-19 surge, including the Omicron variant, has created staffing challenges for healthcare facilities and other industries nationwide. Southeast Health has not been immune from this trend.”

But despite the challenges, Southeast Health says they are doing everything they can to anticipate staffing shortages caused by COVID and will continue to provide the region the critical care it needs.