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Testing available at south St. Louis drive-thru clinic before holiday weekend

The state is promising a 'guaranteed' COVID test to Missourians

ST. LOUIS — Finding a COVID-19 test is no easy feat across the country and in the St. Louis Metro area. 

But one testing clinic in South St. Louis on Thursday might make things a little bit easier for those looking to know their status. 

Because of the national COVID test shortage, a lot of testing sites in the metro area have placed restrictions on who can get access to a test.  

But at a clinic organized by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state of Missouri is promising you are guaranteed a test -- as long as you show up before the clinic wraps up.

Thursday’s drive-thru clinic will be staged at the parking lot of IBEW Local #1 from 10 to 6 pm. The address is 5850 Elizabeth Avenue St. Louis, MO 63110.

You don’t have to pre-register or have an appointment to receive a test. 

The clinic’s weekly schedule can be found here

The clinic was also open at the IBEW lot on Monday, and was packed with cars. 

Organizers say, having a state ID will speed up the process for you. But, it’s not required. 

COVID test results could take up to 72 hours to return. 

The clinic will be closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day but will reopen on Monday, Jan. 3 in the IBEW Local #1 parking lot. 

The goal is to make coronavirus tests more accessible, so you don't head to area hospitals looking for one. 

RELATED: St. Louis County reports steep increase in COVID cases as tests get harder to find

5 on Your Side spoke with the Chief Community Health Officer at SSM Health, Dr. Alexander Garza. He says both net hospitalizations and 7-day moving average are up. Dr. Garza adds, "Our ask is don't come to the ER to get tested for COVID, because we're just seeing large volumes of patients showing up merely for testing and it's really overcrowding those departments."

There are 718 positive COVID case hospitalizations in the St. Louis Metro Task Force hospitals. This is the highest amount experts have seen in almost a year.

READ: 'We're still going to get crushed': St. Louis hospitals prepare for omicron surge as COVID cases skyrocket

Because resources are being stretched thin caring for more COVID patients, area hospitals are urging people to go to non-emergency medical centers for COVID testing.

To limit foot traffic in the hospital and keep potentially COVID-positive people from infecting others, BJC, Mercy, SSM, and St. Luke's hospitals have decided to restrict visitation.

SSM Health and BJC say patients will be limited to one designated visitor.

Pediatric, obstetrics, and end-of-life patients will be allowed two visitors.

MORE: Some health care systems restricting visitors amid COVID-19 surge in St. Louis