Virginia woman calls COVID-19 test research ‘frustrating’
RICHMOND, Virginia – Coming out of Christmas, many Virginians try to get their hands on a home COVID-19 test kit, but most fail.
“It’s boring and frustrating,” Cindy Richards said of her efforts to find a test. “If you google online for a test, I’ve checked all the boxes and there’s nothing you can do. “
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Richards said his daughter tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday morning, and Richards now has mild symptoms. However, finding a quick test for herself turned out to be a challenge.
“I went online to all of the Better Med between Fredericksburg and Tappahannock and even with CVS and Walgreens,” she said. “And I even tried calling pharmacies to see if home tests were available.”
The first test she could have gotten was said to have been on December 30, but Richards fears she may have exposed her family members during the holidays and wants to know her results as soon as possible.
“I’m also worried about everyone I’ve seen, including my 89-year-old parents,” she explained.
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Richards isn’t the only one struggling to find a test. As cases increase and the Omicron variant spreads, demand for testing has skyrocketed.
Virginia Department of Health officials said more than 100,000 home tests had been sent to libraries statewide, but they were all gone.
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“We have definitely used up the supplies we had,” said Dr Melissa Viray of the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts. “But if there are other opportunities that arise, we will also post them as they come live.”
Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are trying to have more tests on the shelves, but they are having supply chain issues.
Additionally, local health districts have been ordered to step up testing events this coming week to meet demand. Dr Viray said Richmond and Henrico are still confirming the latest details of their events.
“As soon as we are able to confirm these dates, we will post them on the website,” she said.
Part of the long-term solution includes a recent announcement by President Joe Biden. He said there were plans to send 500,000 million Americans a home test kit in the mail starting in January. However, limited information on how the process works has been published.
Fortunately, Richards said a friend has additional testing for her, and she believes she will prevent a severe case of COVID-19 with her vaccine. However, she said she still did not know what to expect regarding the future of the pandemic.
“I feel like it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Richards. “I feel like the tsunami is just beginning.”
Virginians aged 5 and over are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Pre-registration is no longer required, so go to Vaccine Finder to search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).
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Have you been fully vaccinated?
People are considered to be fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a series of 2 doses, such as Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine
How to Protect Yourself and Others When You Have Been Fully Immunized
COVID-19 vaccines are effective in protecting you against the disease. Based on what we know About COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated may start doing certain things that they had stopped doing due to the pandemic.
We are still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions– like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet from each other, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces – in public places until we know more.
These recommendations can help you make decisions about your daily activities after you are fully immunized. They are not intended for care settings.
Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Health.