New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Some stores limit COVID test purchases

- By Liz Hardaway

As the delta variant continues to spread throughout Connecticu­t, pharmacies are adjusting to the high demand of at-home testing kits by setting limits on the number that can be purchased.

Both Walgreens and CVS said that at-home testing kits are flying off the shelves. In fact, these kits are the top-selling item in CVS stores, according to company spokespers­on Tara Burke.

Due to the high demand of at-home tests, CVS is limiting purchases of Abbott BinaxNOW, Ellume and Quidel tests to four in stores and six online through their website, according to CVS spokespers­on Joe Goode.

Walgreens has also implemente­d purchasing limits on at-home coronaviru­s tests, according to spokespers­on Emily Hartwig-Mekstan.

Makers of these home test kits have also felt the effects of this surge in demand, which was “sparked by the rapid spread of the Delta variant,” according to Douglas Bryant, the president and CEO of Quidel.

Since Monday, the state Department of Public Health reported 2,517 new cases of coronaviru­s. In that time period, there were 74,852 molecular and antigen tests conducted. DPH has not responded whether its reporting includes the at-home tests.

As of Thursday, 325 people were hospitaliz­ed with the coronaviru­s, 237 of whom were not fully vaccinated.

An Abbott spokespers­on said while the company is unable to speak to specific state data, they have quickly responded to a surge in nationwide demand by hiring more employees and scaling up production. Those measures should lead to “tens of millions” more tests becoming available in the coming weeks, the spokespers­on said.

According to Abbott, BinaxNOW is the most widely used rapid antigen test in the country, with an 84.6 percent positive agreement rate and 98.5 percent negative agreement rate in people who use it within seven days from symptom onset — similar to Quidel’s QuickVue at-home tests.

Those who think they contracted the virus can also get tested at these pharmacies for free.

 ?? H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Heidi Bettcher explains how to do a self administer­ed COVID test at the New Milford Health Department’s COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at John Pettibone Community Center on Aug. 11.
H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticu­t Media Heidi Bettcher explains how to do a self administer­ed COVID test at the New Milford Health Department’s COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at John Pettibone Community Center on Aug. 11.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States