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Rapid COVID-19 tests are getting hard to find and retailers can't keep them in stock

Posted at 7:09 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 20:09:33-04

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) - Testing is such a huge part of the fight against the pandemic, but if you've tried to find an at-home rapid COVID-19 test it may have been a challenge. Local pharmacy owners say rapid tests are hard to keep in stock, but you can still get a PCR test while you're waiting for the stores to restock their shelves.

At the RX Link Pharmacy in downtown Appleton, the shelves are stocked full of supplements, medicine, all the items you'll want to ensure you're fighting the good fight against an ailment. But like most retailers right now, many can't get enough of the at-home rapid COVID-19 tests.

"Most pharmacies can barely keep them on the shelves," says Jude Jean-Pierre the owner of LX Link Pharmacy.

Jean-Pierre says he gets as many tests as suppliers will provide, as often as possible. That being said, however, it's nearly impossible to keep up with the demand.

"I think it's simply for its convenience. People can pick them up on the shelf and do it at home and if there is an event coming up or after an event, they can test themselves which is great," adds Jean-Pierre.

Here Jean-Pierre has an ample supply of the PCR tests though, which unlike his rapid tests are administered on-site for free. The only problem is many folks want instant results and they don't want to wait 48 hours for a PCR test to be analyzed. That's why Jean-Pierre says it's best to get the test that is readily available, rather than wait for your preferred method of testing to be made available.

"While they are waiting to get the antigen test for a quick test, they might as well get the PCR test which is more accurate. They get that in a few days, so they just need to be proactive and get the PCR," adds Jean-Pierre.

The state of Wisconsin is offering to ship you free PCR tests to your home. Check out this link from the Department of Health Services to order a free test.