CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – COVID-19 cases are surging across the country, and that means more people are getting tested.

Lines of cars and people wrapping around buildings and down blocks, all waiting to get a COVID-19 test.

“I feel like it’s pretty important if you have elderly family that’s the biggest one really,” Sam Walters,

It started before the holiday season got underway.

Champaign County Emergency Management Agency said on December 18th, they tested 329 people, December 20th, they tested 564 people, and by December 22nd, they tested 771 people in just one day in the county.

Julie Pryde, the Administrator for Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said it’s the calm before the storm.

“Cases are definitely increasing rapidly. We have the highest number of people in the hospitals right now, and it’s going to get worse,” she said.

It’s all because of the Omicron variant. Pryde said it’s a very transmissible variant.

“What we’re seeing now is an infectious variant with Omicron that we’ve never seen anything like this. I mean, there’s nothing out there like this except for measles. So, it is very, very, very infectious. If you get in the house, everyone’s going to get it. If you get it in the job, and people aren’t masking or distancing, everyone’s going to get it,” Pryde said.

And after gathering for holidays, many people in Champaign knew they needed to get a test. Even if that meant waiting in a long line.

“Hopefully, it won’t be too long of a wait,” Walters said. “She’s feeling a little under the weather, and after the holiday seeing a lot of people, it seems like the right thing to do.”