Rapid self-COVID tests in high demand before holidays

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Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:19 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Nearly 9,000 Georgians tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

And many more are scrambling to get tested before they spend time with loved ones for the holidays.

Rapid tests are what many are deciding to do before hitting the roads.

Doctors recommend that you take a test before you go.

“It is also recommended that if you’re planning to go out to somewhere with a gathering and you don’t know the vaccination status of those individuals that you test yourself before you go. You know that you’re not going to spread COVID that way. Especially, if you’re going to see someone that is elderly or immunocompromised,” said Dr. Kathy Hudson, chief medical officer at Phoebe Putney Memorial.

The self-test kits can be purchased at Walgreens or CVS. They’re also available on Amazon, but shipping times will probably make them arrive too late at this point.

One testing kit with two tests could cost around $24. You can find them near the pharmacy department’s reception window inside. Stores like CVS are limiting the amount that you can buy, which is four.

WALB News 10 found four different brands of tests in stores and each has different instructions.

There was a single test ready in 15 minutes, and a double test that you must complete in 2-3 days. Keep in mind before you buy, you know which test you are getting. If you have cold symptoms, but can’t change your plans, and can’t get a test, you can still protect those around you.

If you don’t know whether to take a test, Dr. Charles Ruis, Southwest Health District director, said to assume you are positive unless proven otherwise.

“If you go with a gathering you should be mindful, we keep stressing it, wear a mask,” Ruis said. “That is the best protection you can do for yourself and others. So wear a mask if going to a gathering. I know a lot of people don’t like a mask, but it really does make a big difference in transmissions.”

Some stores are now thin on tests. However, there are places like the Walgreens on Stuart Avenue that have many leftover. Meanwhile, one CVS store employee told WALB they ran out on Wednesday and might run out again on Thursday.

People weren’t there just for their COVID tests. Some still shopping for those last minute gift cards and toys.

Some shoppers were getting their COVID shot instead of a test. Some people told WALB they would rather be safe from illness. A woman getting her flu shot at the time told WALB she was not concerned about her COVID status.

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