LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One of the hottest items on the holiday list this year isn’t a toy — it’s a COVID test.
And it can be hard to find.
The “at-home” tests are popular — but there are other ways to get a test.
With Christmas days away and omicron becoming more of a concern, so is the need for testing.
Several pharmacies we checked on Wednesday sold out of those at-home tests. But some pharmacies still had them.
If you are looking for the “at-home” COVID-19 antigen tests, it could take some extra driving around.
A check at a number of northwest valley CVS and Walgreens pharmacies found that just about every other one was out.
Amanda Ellis from E7 Health Testing Clinics said they are noticing an increase in people looking to get tested.
“It has been a busy season for sure,” Ellis said.
“Availability with us is always same-day, usually within a few hours. We can get patients in and our results are also available within one hour or less,” Ellis said.
The tests we found at the pharmacies are all antigen tests, some as low as $10.
Ellis said the at-home tests aren’t as accurate as PCR tests, which is the test required for international travel.
“There are a lot of tests on the market, most popular being PCR and antigen,” Ellis said. “Antigen does have a 30% positive and false negative rate.”
Other PCR tests are available around the valley, but results take 24 to 48 hours.
Ryan Moore is from testing and health company Curative.
“The last couple of weeks, we have seen a spike nationwide, Vegas included,” Moore said.
“Highlighting some of Vegas’s numbers, we have done over 1,000 tests a day over the last two days and we are trending to do that today as well,” he said.
The company recently brought 13 mobile testing sites to the valley. Appointments can be booked online.
“Curative.com, and it will geo-locate you to the nearest location,” Moore said.
Early Wednesday, same-day appointments were available. Moore expects it to pick up over the next few days.
“We have set our goals high and our staff are prepared for it,” he said.
For the pharmacies that do have the “at home” tests available, there most likely is a limit on how many you can buy.