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At-home COVID-19 tests are in scarce supply in Texas while public testing sites see a rise in demand

Despite the wide availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, the rapid rise of the omicron variant has renewed a sense of uncertainty — just in time for Christmas.

HOUSTON — Roxana Rome was at her third pharmacy in as many days and she still couldn’t find a rapid, at-home COVID-19 test. With her out-of-town family en route for a visit, Rome said she was worried about what she’s been hearing about the latest omicron variant and wanted to make sure her loved ones would be safe through the holidays.

With Christmas four days away, Rome said she might consider visiting a free testing site run by the city of Houston as a last resort. Frankly, she’s running out of time and doesn’t want to deal with long lines and even longer wait times to get her results back.

“It’s quicker, you just do it on your own and that’s it,” Rome said of the at-home tests.

Despite the wide availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, the rapid rise of the omicron variant has renewed a sense of uncertainty — just in time for Christmas gatherings. Now, Texans are clamoring for a quick and easy way to get some peace of mind via a negative test result. Drug stores like CVS and Walgreens report that tests, which cost roughly between $10 and $40 dollars, have been widely out of stock or of short supply nationwide for months.

Meanwhile, demand is soaring for free testing at city- and county-run sites.

Go here to continue reading this story from our partners at the Texas Tribune

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