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COVID-19 at-home rapid tests in short supply

When it comes to COVID-19 testing, PCR tests seem to be widely available. It's a different story for the at-home rapid test kits.

INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re in search of an at-home rapid COVID-19 test and can’t find one, you’re not alone.

They’re difficult to find, from major retailers like CVS and Walgreens to independent pharmacies. 

“Right now, we’re limiting just one test per person,” said Julie Acra, owner of Blue River Pharmacy, an independent drug store in Brownsburg. 

That’s because Acra can’t keep the tests on the shelves. 

“People are really desperate for them,” she said, adding demand has been up in the past month with the holidays and the omicron surge. 

That demand didn’t seem to be letting up on Monday.

“Today has been crazy," said Acra. "We’ve probably gotten over 100 phone calls asking for COVID tests. We’ve probably had 50 people stopping in and asking if we had them."

Acra said they’re used to getting shipments of rapid tests every day, but that's not happening right now. 

“The wholesalers that we use have been allocating the amounts, so sometimes we might get in 12, sometimes we might get in 20. Today, we didn’t get in any, but we ordered them every day,” Acra said.

“We’re constrained the same way everyone else is constrained,” said Monica Heltz, public health director for the Fishers Health Department.

Heltz said it’s the same story for health departments that get their rapid testing supplies from the state. They have rapid tests at the Fishers Health Department but not enough for everyone who wants answers right away. 

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“We have a demand that’s very, very high, but we’re only able to perform a certain number of tests every day, so we basically have to triage those tests,” said Heltz.

Whether or not you get a rapid test depends on the information you give when you register for one, according to Heltz. 

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When it comes to PCR tests that take longer for results, there’s more than enough to go around at the Fishers Health Department, according to Heltz.

“We tested almost 500 people at our site today, and most of those were PCR tests,” she said. 

Bottom line, say medical professionals and pharmacists, if you think you’ve got COVID or you’re concerned about exposure, get a test when and where you can. 

“Any test is still a good test,” said Heltz.

Click here for a list of CVS Health COVID-19 testing locations.

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