Local shortage of COVID-19 home testing
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – As the omicron variant increases across the country and Kentucky, the demand for rapid at-home COVID test kits is increasing.
Many online pharmacy providers are out of stock.
Currently, local CVS stores, Walgreens, Meijer, and Walmart are all out of stock for rapid in-home COVID-19 testing. Walmart has tests available for purchase online, but shipping takes at least 3 days.
The Sheldon Pharmacy does not sell rapid in-home COVID-19 tests.
“The only tests that differentiate which variant it is are the tests that are sent to the state lab. This is what we know so far that there may be an additional lab that is performing variant testing for the state of Kentucky. I know there was a process in place through the Kentucky Department of Public Health for certain samples to go to the Kentucky state lab and they are able to differentiate whether it is from the omicron variant. Of course, we are still seeing Delta variants in our region, but the key is just to understand whether we have COVID or not. You know, a lot of people want to know, “Do I have the Delta variant or do I have the omicron variant?” Said Dennis Chaney, vice president of ancillary services at Med Center Health.
The rapidly spreading variant of the omicron coronavirus is causing an increase in purchases of COVID-19 tests at home.
Demand is so intense that two of the largest drug store chains in the United States, CVS Health and Walgreens, are limiting the number of tests a person can buy.
In a statement on Tuesday, CVS said it was limiting purchases to six test kits to “ensure fair access to testing both in-store and digitally.”
Walgreens said they are limiting it to four test kits per purchase.
“As contagious as this variant is, this omicron is, you know people want to know whether or not they have COVID, either they’ve been exposed or they want to decide if they can continue to participate in social activities. So I consider it to be something very positive and responsible, you know people buy these home tests because they want to understand what their condition is, whether they have COVID or not. But even that, we just need to be aware that we can be contagious 1 to 2 days before symptoms appear and this is something we all need to be aware of and this is information the CDC has released, ”a said Chaney.
President Joe Biden has said the federal government will buy half a billion COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them free to people to use at home. But despite strong public demand for testing, it will be several more weeks before these kits are available to ship. The administration is still working on the details of how the program works.
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