Recent Covid-19 Surge Causes Limited Testing Appointments and Supplies


Austin Lermayer

Testing Tribulations: A BinaxNOW at home Covid-19 test purchased from a limited supply.

     As the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus has surged over the course of holiday break, many people were left waiting and hoping for an opening to take a Covid-19 test. Only a limited number of appointments can be made per day as well as a limited number of rapid Covid-19 tests being sold in stores or online. The scarce supplies and appointments available have caused a multitude of issues within the daily lives of people, including delaying their returns to work, schooling, and other extracurricular activities. 

     The lack of tests come from the Biden Administration’s inability to secure enough tests for the number of people who wanted them. 

     According to an article from CNN, “An enhanced strategy includes distributing 500 million free at-home tests didn’t come in time to prevent major disruptions to holiday travel, and it remains unclear when those tests will reach Americans who want them.” 

     Though this isn’t the only reason for the scarceness in testing material, CNN goes on to state, “A combination of factors — from a Christmas time surge in demand to a highly transmissible new variant to a summertime lull in testing that created a shortage of supply — are driving the testing deficit, officials and other familiars with the matter say.”

     The shortage hit many states hard, including Connecticut. Local pharmacies had been trying to distribute as many at-home tests as possible while they are in stock.

     “We’re out of rapid tests as of right now, they usually sell out within a day of getting restocked,” says a CVS employee who witnesses how quickly the small supply of tests sell out.

     Though tests are being distributed as fast as they can to meet the public’s needs, many are left struggling to find rapid tests or Covid-19 PCR test openings. Waiting to be tested can be an issue for patients, because without a diagnosis, they might not be able to find the best treatment for themselves. 

     Scott Lermayer, a Foran parent, developed Covid-19 symptoms over the holiday break and was fortunate to receive testing quickly. 

     He states, “Purchasing home tests has been somewhat difficult but we have been able to track down a few.”

     The few locations that have stocks of home tests are limited, so many people are rushing to buy them before it is too late, leaving many empty-handed.

     Lermayer also discloses the severity of the virus, saying, “Having Covid-19 affected me greatly. I was forced to quarantine within my own home. I was really unable to leave my home for ten days.”

     The limited supply of tests allows people who have not been tested to possibly spread the virus to others or even cause worse symptoms to appear over time. 

     Though companies and corporations are shipping and giving out tests to the best of their abilities, the issue has been severe enough to disrupt the normal lives of many Americans. Until more tests are able to be produced, people will have to stay patient and cautious to not contract or spread the virus.