DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Christmas is in just four days, and as omicron COVID-19 variant cases continue to surge, medical experts across the Miami Valley remain hopeful that President Biden’s announcement of 500 million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests across the U.S. will help lower cases close to home.

In Clark County, Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said he welcomes the news of President Biden sending more COVID-19 tests. “We are seeing most of our testing sites are full to capacity. In addition to that, those agencies that have in the past been able to give away free rapid test kits are in fact running out of those kits, or they’re already out of the free test kits,” said Patterson.

Patterson said this is a concern, especially due to the fact COVID-19 cases in Clark County have more than doubled in the last 28 days. “We’ve had a 29% increase in hospitalizations. We’ve seen now over 400 deaths from COVID here in Clark County. Our positivity rate is over 17% now,” said Patterson.

In Montgomery County, Public Health Information Supervisor Dan Suffoletto said the county is also experiencing testing shortages. “We wanna make sure that the people who are exposed to someone who has COVID or has symptoms, that those individuals are testing first,” said Suffoletto.

Suffoletto said that the holidays are also making things more difficult for people to find tests. “A lot of people are rightfully concerned if they’re going to visit someone over the holidays. So, that’s greatly increasing the number of people that are looking for tests.”

As we wait for more at-home COVID-19 tests, Patterson said the majority of hospitalizations they’re seeing in Clark County are unvaccinated patients, and he’s pleading with people to get their shot. “I don’t know what else to tell you other than…the numbers don’t lie.”

President Biden’s 500 million rapid at-home COVID-19 tests are expected to be released to the public beginning next month.