OAKWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – COVID-19 tests are in high demand in the Miami Valley with public libraries and pharmacies only able to keep home tests in stock for a short period of time. Public health officials are warning there’s not enough tests available to keep up.
More than 1,700 COVID-19 home tests were distributed in four hours at Wright Memorial Public Library in Oakwood Thursday.
“I’ve been looking for the tests the past week or so, they’re so short,” Oakwood resident Scott Rife said when picking up his tests.
Since the library started handing out the free tests, director Kristi Hale said she’s noticed the demand skyrocket.
“From March to August, we gave out a total of about 350 tests, so it really wasn’t a big part of our day, but as COVID rates have soared, so has the need,” Hale said.
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County public information supervisor Dan Suffoletto said that demand is getting harder to keep up with as COVID-19 cases climb.
“We don’t want people going to the store, seeing tests and buying dozens and dozens of them just to have them just to have on hand, that’s not helpful,” Suffoletto said.
At this time, health officials recommend home and even rapid tests should be reserved for those who need them and not be used for daily screening.
“So people are like when do I need them? We need a test when either you’ve been exposed to someone or when you’re symptomatic,” Clark County Combined Health District health commissioner Charles Patterson said. “The random testing, the screening testing, we don’t have the capacity to be able to do that right now.”
As the last tests were handed out at Wright Memorial Library Thursday, people said they were relieved they could get their hands on a few boxes.
“It feels good, I know how short every place is right now, it’s great the State of Ohio is providing these free tests because they’re kinda expensive at the stores even if you can find them there,” Rife said.
Health officials said more tests will be made available in the coming weeks as supply chain ramps up through the state and federal government.