By Mugo Odigwe

CHICAGO (CBS) — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Illinois, finding a testing site with available appointments is proving to be difficult.

As CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe reports, it comes as many get ready for holiday travel and family gatherings.

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A long line of people was waiting Tuesday morning at Innovative Care’s testing location in Lincoln Park, where appointments are fully booked until Monday afternoon.

Some people in line, like Steve Woods, showed up as early as 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“Just here to get tested. We’re trying to go back to see my family for Christmas,” he said.

Woods was getting tested before traveling for the holidays.

“My wife tested positive just over 10 days ago. She was symptomatic. I haven’t been, though, so just making sure I’m still healthy, and hopefully she is too now,” he said.

But he’s also had issues with appointments.

“It’s been pretty nuts,” he said. “I had to book a Monday appointment, and they rescheduled, so it was kind of a little work around they had for me.”

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With the omicron variant now the dominant variant in the U.S., the demand for testing is high, but supply isn’t nearly as high.

On Sunday, for example, nearly 200,000 people were tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, and that’s not counting the ones who took them at home.

This as big-name pharmacies are booking up fast. Some don’t have openings for weeks. Others have no spots left at all.

One option for those looking to get tested: temporary sites, like the trailer at Lincoln College of Technology in Melrose Park.

Back at Innovative Care in Lincoln Park, Woods is hoping for one thing.

“We’re hoping to be negative and see the family, but the reality is, you know, maybe not, so we’ll just have Christmas at home together,” he said.

In addition to temporary testing sites, keep looking online.

For example, CVS and Walgreens had some appointments available Tuesday morning.

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