DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If you’re someone who needs to get a COVID-19 test, but can’t find one anywhere — you’re not alone. As omicron variant cases continue to spread and people are testing ahead of family holiday gatherings, medical experts say there’s a testing shortage that we’re experiencing.
Premier Health Regional Medical Director Dr. Joseph Allen said with Christmas and New Year’s both just days away, it’s not a surprise to see COVID-19 at-home tests are going quickly off the shelves. “If you’re going to be around some folks that are high risk, or you know you’re going to an environment where maybe there’s a family member that isn’t immunized, maybe it’s a good thing to test before you go,” said Dr. Allen.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced plans to send 500 million at-home COVID19 tests out to the public, and Dr. Allen said he feels the at-home tests have proved to be fairly accurate. “In general, the rapid tests are really really good if they say you’re negative. If you take a test and it says negative they’re pretty accurate on that,” said Dr. Allen.
Megan Randall is a Greene County resident. In the summer when the need was lower, Randall says she had no trouble stocking up on COVID-19 at-home tests she found at Sam’s Club. However, Randall now says that many of her friends are struggling to find testing kits.
“I know I’ve had a few friends that’ve had some scares or exposures, and they wanted to do some at-home tests, but they just simply couldn’t find any to take,” said Randall.
Although Randall still has a few test kits left, she’s worried what will happen when the kits run out. “I would like for us to take one like the day before the elderly in-laws arrive at the house for Christmas. But, if we both take a test, we’re down to one test,” said Randall.
Dr. Allen said regardless of testing, if you’re not feeling well ahead of holiday gatherings, it’s best to stay home. “Whether it’s COVID whether it’s the flu or something else it’s probably best not to go anyway.”
If you’re someone struggling to find a COVID-19 test, Dr. Allen is encouraging people to contact their physicians who can hopefully connect them to testing locations.