ST. LOUIS — Hundreds of people waited in long lines at a drive-thru COVID testing site in south St. Louis to get tested before the holidays.

The testing site, run by the Missouri Health Department, saw one of its busiest days of the year Thursday. Cars as far as the eye can see snaked around the testing site, located at 5850 Elizabeth Ave.

By late afternoon, more than 300 people were tested.

“We have several family members that are immunocompromised, “said Lauren Laughlin, who waited in line. “So, it’s important to make sure that we keep them safe.”

“Every place is going to be closed tomorrow, so it’s kind of last-minute, but you have to make it happen,” she continued. “We want to make sure we’re not spreading anything to our family members, so it’s kind of important that we get tested before Christmas.”

Some drivers didn’t expect the long wait.

“I’ve waited for more than three hours,” said resident Jennifer O’Neal. “I’ve been over here a couple of times before, and there’s been one car in front of me. So, I did not expect this at all.”

One man said he traveled from Highland, Ilinois because other testing sites didn’t have any availability.

“There was nowhere in the area to get tested,” said Joseph Shannon. “Som it was between coming here and Springfield, Illinois for me. Walgreens and CVS were all booked up.”

Even though in the end, many didn’t get their test, a little taste of holiday cheer reminded everyone around why getting swabbed is so important.

The site runs every Monday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Those who got tested will receive their results within 72 hours via call or text.