KNOXVILLE (WATE) — Americans can now get free rapid COVID tests delivered to their homes, courtesy of a new government website. However, it’s likely to take at least a week to get it in the mail and some are in need of a test now.
WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel visited a few pharmacies to get a look at the high demand they’re seeing and how they’re handling it.
Blount Discount Pharmacy didn’t have any at-home COVID tests left in stock. “We had 50 that came in yesterday, we shipped them out between our 3 stores, and they were sold out literally in hours,” said pharmacist Hamilton Borden.
At a different pharmacy, Belew Drugs, there was the same issue.
“The availability of the tests since the pandemic has started has increased. But now that more people are needing to test, then now the supply isn’t able to keep up with the demand as much, especially right now with this wave that we are facing,” said Samantha Boldin, a pharmacist at Belew Drugs.
Stephanie Wilder can attest to that, she spent Tuesday night on the hunt for a test.
“We both work on the east side of town, and we live on the west side, so we just made our way down the interstate like we would normally do on the way home and kept going back to google searching for at-home COVID test,” Wilder said.
Luckily, after a couple of stops, she was able to track one down. Meanwhile, both pharmacies we visited are expecting another shipment, but they’re not expecting it to last long.
“I believe the owner said he was going to get another 100. So, honestly, it’ll probably be sold out, if we ship those out between the different stores. If we make a Facebook post, they’ll probably be sold out by the end of the day,” said Borden.
Boldin said a word of advice for people when it comes to the test. “I caution people if you don’t need a test right this minute, don’t rush out and buy one. Let the people who need a test right this minute, have those available to them,” she said.
To see a list of drive-thru testing locations in Knox county, click here.