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Pharmacies struggle to keep at-home-COVID-19 tests on shelves

UW-Health said while more people are testing themselves the shortage is more so due to supply chain issues, but the spike in cases around the holiday hasn’t helped.
Number of at home testing kits dwindle amid Omicron surge
Number of at home testing kits dwindle amid Omicron surge(wkyt)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 4:18 PM CST
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Holiday gatherings, travel, and the surge of the Omicron variant are creating a strong demand for COVID-19 tests and a national shortage of at-home test kits.

“As far as clinic and drive-through options, uh, you know, they are busy So a lot of people have gone to home testing,” Dr. Ashok Rai with Prevea Health said.

Pharmacies like Meijer and Walgreens tell Action 2 News that keeping at-home-test on their shelves has been such a struggle that they’ve had to limit the number of tests people can buy.

UW-Health said while more people are testing themselves the shortage is more so due to supply chain issues, but the spike in cases around the holiday hasn’t helped.

“I think some of it has to do with the supply chain or the manufacturing. I think it’s more that than anything else. The demand has certainly gone up by quite a bit, but even before that, you know, it wasn’t like there was a plethora of them on the market,” Dr. Nasia Safdar with UW-Health said.

Meanwhile, Prevea said it has an ample amount of PCR tests to go around. They encourage those who can’t get their hands on an at-home test to schedule a test with their health care provider right away, but only if they have symptoms or have been exposed.

“We don’t need everybody just getting tested just to, just to find out just in case the real indications for testing right now, especially with limited supplies,” Dr. Rai said.

The state reported more than six thousand new positive cases on Wednesday, December 29, with the positivity rate of all tests jumping another full point to 16%.

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