At-Home COVID Tests Nearly Impossible to Find in Stores as Holidays Approach

NBC Universal, Inc.

Health departments say they're trying to figure out how to get more at-home COVID-19 tests out to the public as they're getting nearly impossible to find at many stores.

Staff at a San Jose CVS said Monday that the few at-home tests they have left are now behind the counter to help limit the number each customer can buy.

“There honestly isn’t that much out,” said shopper Vicky Brownell.

CVS said many of their stores have now sold out after a recent surge in demand triggered by the holidays and the new variant.

Many customers seem to arrive with the same story.

“There gonna have a lot of family that are coming from out of town or taking a plane or something else like that where they just want to be safe,” said Brownell.

In the midst of all this, the state is shipping out thousands of at-home COVID-19 tests to local health departments to be given away.

“We’re expecting we will be getting upwards of 90,000 tests,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

The goal is to distribute them among community clinics, community centers and shelters, and target places with the highest need and highest risk.

“If you're at home you don’t have to make an appointment and you don’t have to go to a center and have to wait a day or two, you get the result in basically 10 minutes,” said Fenstersheib.

Santa Clara County said it also plans to purchase its own batch of at-home COVID-19 tests assuming it can find them.

Other counties, like Napa, said the state isn’t sending them enough to fill current public demand.

While Contra Costa County is planning on handing out some through county supervisors.

Everyone is hoping to offer people some peace of mind.

“It’s a window that tells you if you have enough virus to infect somebody else, and that is why they are so good,” said Fenstersheib.

So good, and now, so hard to find.

Contact Us