As COVID-19 cases surge this winter, long lines at PCR testing sites are becoming a common sight once again as people flock to swab their nostrils and hope for the best amid a seemingly constant flood of bad news.

At the testing site at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, Ryan and Jayna Kropas neared the end of the line after waiting for more than an hour in the dreary, wet December weather.

The couple had just gotten back from visting family in Long Island, and they had been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19.

"We got the at-home tests this morning," a masked-up Jayna Kropas said, adding that both of their rapid antigen tests were negative. "We're hoping that the PCR test is also negative. But this line was probably the longest I've seen everywhere."

The queue snaked its way outside and around the building, with dozens waiting in line at any one time. One person GBH News tried to interview left upon seeing just how long the line was.

A spokesperson for Tufts Medical Center said the testing site would administer about 900 tests on Thursday and approximately 3,400 tests total for the four-day week.

Other walk-in PCR testing sites in the region have also experienced high demand this week, with GBH staff noting lines wrapping around the block at the Anna M. Cole Community Center in Jamaica Plain and hundreds of people waiting at the CambridgeSide Mall.

At Tufts, the Kropas said it was strange to see lengthy testing lines nearly two years into the pandemic.

"You figure, after each wave, you think it's over, and then it seems to come back. I'm hoping this is the last one," Ryan Kropas said with a chuckle. "Hoping these lines won't start up again after this variant."

Chris Burns, Zoe Boucher and Griffin Burns all came together to the Tufts site after being in contact with someone who tested positive. Like plenty of others, they had trouble finding at-home tests.

"We already had one saved that he took," Chris said in reference to Griffin, his son. "But other than [that], I don't think you can find them in the stores at this point."

The trio weren't able to find any testing appointments for Thursday or Friday, forcing them to try the walk-in route.

"You hoped that we'd be a little bit better equipped as a city by now given that this, you know, it's not new at this point," Boucher said.

Still, the line's length didn't come as a surprise after seeing news coverage showing the situation they were now part of themselves. And with one more major holiday still to go and a virus that has a nasty habit of sticking around, it's anyone's guess to when long lines for COVID tests will go away.

"I think everybody let their guard down this year just 'cause the hope was that COVID was over," Jayna Kropas said. "But I think everyone, kind of, right now is in the same boat where they're [like] 'It's OK, everyone will be fine.' And it's spreading like wildfire. So, I don't know, next year, we might be doing the same thing."