By George Warren

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — If you think stores were crowded two days before Christmas, you should have seen the line of cars at Cal Expo.

These weren’t last-minute shoppers, but people wanting a COVID-19 test before Christmas. The Cal Expo site offered no-cost PCR and antigen tests in a cavernous livestock building with no appointment necessary.

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At 10:30 a.m. a half-mile line of cars reached all the way out onto Exposition Boulevard. Cal Expo police were busy setting up traffic cones in the racetrack parking lot in an effort to prevent vehicles from blocking the busy intersection outside Gate D.

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People arriving mid-morning waited nearly two hours to get their test.

A Cal Expo security guard said he hadn’t seen a crowd like this before and speculated it was because the site would be closed both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and people wanted to get tested before holiday gatherings.

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A staff member working for Curative, the test vendor, said they’d had a supply of 350 test kits on Wednesday but had run out in the early afternoon. The staff member said they’d ordered 2,000 kits for Thursday and expected even that might not be enough to meet the high demand.