SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A free COVID-19 testing site is opening up at Sacramento International Airport.

The site is in the old taxi waiting parking lot, which is located near the AM/PM gas station.

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Testing will get underway at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and it’s available for the general public, not just travelers and airport employees, the city says. The tests are free unless you’re flying to Hawaii, which carries a $20 fee for its pre-travel testing program.

Testing is by appointment only. Those wishing to be tested can sign up at

Donna Chang is flying back to Hawaii to visit with her ailing father. She was one of the dozens who lined up to be tested for COVID-19 outside the airport Wednesday morning.

“There is no testing site in Sac that guarantees testing results in 72 hours. So that’s why we are really glad this is here,” said Chang.

City Health Urgent Care is operating the site.

“This test site will offer the molecular PCR testing and the results will be in 48 hours. 24-48 hours,” said Sofya Yaroshevskaya, the general manager at City Health Urgent Care.

They are a trusted partner with the state of Hawaii, providing the paperwork necessary to travel.

“With the state of Hawaii seal of approval, that way you will be eligible to travel. If you do go to a non-trusted partner and you go to Hawaii, even if you do have a negative test result, they won’t let you in. They’ll send you on a flight right back,” said Yaroshevskaya.

To be tested you have to bring a government-issued ID, an insurance card if you have it, and make an appointment. Not everyone in line was heading out of town.

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Barbara Martin said, “It actually was convenient for me. I don’t live but 10 minutes from here.”

“I have never had a COVID test before. This is very exciting,” said Elliot Reiner.

At 63 years young, Reiner thought getting tested was the right thing to do.

“Just to make sure, just to be able to say at this moment in time everything is good,” he said.

But if you are traveling, you need to make the time for testing and plan ahead. Chang said she’ll be flying as soon as she gets her results, on Friday or Saturday.

The company runs other testing sites in the East Bay and previously offered saliva testing providing results on the spot that people had to pay for, but it was expensive and supply could not keep up with demand.

AAA is projecting a nearly 30% drop in 2020 holiday travel. Thirty-four million fewer U.S. residents will travel between December 23 and January 3 compared to 2019.

Millions could be listening to the CDC’s warnings not to fly as 3 million will fly over the holidays, that’s an over 60% drop from 2019.

About 81 million will travel by car, which is 25% fewer than last year.

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