Local pharmacy facing at home Covid-19 test shortage

WEBB CITY, Mo.–The holidays are over which means kids are heading back to school and many people will travel home from vacation.

And with Covid-19 cases once again on the rise, you might want to get tested before heading back to day-to-day life.

The only issue, you’ll need to be able to find a test first.

“We carry the BinaxNOW rapid test when we can get it…with everybody traveling over the holidays, the tests have been really hard to come by,” said Adam Fletcher, manager at Prater’s Pharmacy. 

Fletcher tells us there’s been an increased demand for at-home rapid Covid-19 tests.

The reason for this demand could be due to a few factors, such as the Omicron variant mixed with people gathering and traveling for the holiday.

“We typically get five, and the ones we’ve had recently when we’ve got five of them, they’ve gone out in the same day. We usually have numerous calls a day. It’s first come, first serve when we get them, we’ve been out for some time now…Some people will try to ask us to hold them, but it’s hard to do that.”

Fletcher says it may not just be Praters either.

It’s very common, it’s like pretty much every pharmacy around Christmas, we had so many phone calls just asking, you know, do you have a test? Do you have a test? And the consensus is no, I don’t think anybody around here really does.”

Even larger pharmacies and retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and CVS recently announced that they will be limiting the amount of covid-19 tests that a person can purchase.

All of this is happening while the U.S reports over 1 million new daily Covid cases. 

“New cases are popping up every day. We’re seeing more and more now than we did even when we when were at our worst parts of Covid a year ago. So it’s most important to continue to wear your mask and also, I guess most importantly, to get the vaccine.”

The FDA recently reported a decrease in sensitivity in rapid antigen tests when it comes to detecting variant cases. But they do say if you test positive, you should trust the result.