JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – New Jerusalem Church in Jackson has experienced an influx of people seeking a COVID-19 test amid a new surge of cases.

Testing sites have been backed up throughout the metro area due to holiday travel, the omicron variant spreading and at-home tests flying off shelves.

New Jerusalem Church Pastor Dwayne Pickett said the number of people showing up at the church’s testing site has nearly tripled. The testing site opened in partnership with LABLINQ over a year ago.

Pickett said he has never seen lines longer than they have been the last few days at both the Old Canton Road and Raymond Road campuses. The site tested more than 500 people just this week. The drive-thru sites are open to the public and do not require appointments.

“I think people are really understanding that we have to stay vigilant. We have to do something. We have to protect ourselves. Most importantly, we need to know if we have the virus, so we can keep it from continuing to spread,” said Pickett.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will be opening more COVID-19 testing sites statewide to limit lines and long wait times.