DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — There are growing concerns over the supply of at-home COVID-19 testing kits in the Miami Valley. Demand for the over-the-counter kits is increasing, which is causing stores and pharmacies across the region to run out of stock.
Dayton Metro Library said the shortage is due to a combination of the increase in cases, the new omicron variant, and the anticipation for holiday gatherings and travel.
“With that demand comes a shortage, and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to keep the kits in stock. They fly out of the door just as quickly as they arrive,” said Claudine Bennett, external relations manager at Dayton Metro Library.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, libraries have handed out more than 1.4 million tests across the state. Dayton Metro Library has handed out about 7,500.
“When we do receive them, we receive about 1,000 kits. We distribute them among all of our branches, but we never know when they’ll arrive,” Bennett said.
Health officials say the rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as PCR lab tests, but it’s a great option if you plan to get together with family and friends.
“Testing yourself before going is a good idea. Just recall that a negative doesn’t mean definitively that you don’t have covid, which is why some have suggested doing two tests, maybe one day apart,” Dr. Jeffery Weinstein with Kettering Health said.
In addition to Dayton Metro Library branches, you can also pick up an at-home test at most pharmacies, as long as they’re in stock.
“We are hopeful that we’ll receive another shipment before Christmas and the New Year. We are unsure if it’s a delay on manufacturing, or if the demand is too high,” said Bennett.