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Finding an at-home COVID-19 test can be difficult

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - They’re simple, quick, and some doctors say they are almost as effective as PCR tests - as long as you have symptoms - but the convenience factor makes at-home tests hard to resist.

Finding one in the wild may be harder than you’d think; empty shelves greet customers at many pharmacies in the Charlottesville area.

“It was after 5 o’clock, and I just stopped by my local CVS, and there weren’t any tests available,” UVA Health Dr. Taison Bell said. “I asked them, ‘well, do you know any location that may have some in there?’ They weren’t aware of any in the whole city.”

From national chains to locally-owned pharmacies, shelves are empty.

“I think you’re just going to have to call around, just the demand is causing a shortage everywhere,” Timberlake’s pharmacist David Plantz said. “We have been carrying them just probably for the last couple months, and in the last several weeks it’s become more difficult to get. We’ve got them sporadically.”

Timberlake’s hopes to have more in stock soon.

“I think starting last week we’ve been unable to get any, but I think yesterday we did find another source or it might be to get some the next couple of days,” Plantz said.

Dr. Bell says these tests are a good solution to stopping the spread of the virus, if you can get your hands on them.

“I do think that testing is one of the strategies that we have to try to contain the spread of the disease,” Dr. Bell said. “So I think that having access to these tests can really plug a lot of holes when it comes to our ability to deliver them in places like clinics.”

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