As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, the demand for COVID-19 tests is on the rise, especially during the holidays. That high demand is leaving stores in Erie with empty shelves.
This week, local CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens stores are seeing this impact.
As families come home form their holiday gatherings, one thing that seems to be on everyone’s mind is taking a COVID-19 test. Trying to find one at local stores, however, seems to be near impossible.
Garrett Pike works at the CVS on Pine Avenue in Erie as a Shift Supervisor. Pike has been on the front line of this storm while answering phone call after phone call trying to deal with customers who come in demanding COVID-19 tests.
“I just wish we could get more tests in on the trucks so we could help our customers,” said Garrett Pike, Shift Supervisor at CVS on Pine Avenue. “We go through probably about 150 boxes, like test kits, this week alone in a day,”
It’s a similar situation for all CVS locations in Erie, according to Pike. Other locations, such as Walgreens and Walmart are also sold out.
“It’s a real problem because we have depended on private businesses to supply testing rather than have the government responsible for it.” said Dr. Howard Nadworny, Physician and COVID Advisor for Erie County Department of Health.
“I understand why they are in high demand right now with everybody and their families wanting to make sure that they are safe for the holidays,” said Atalie Soule, Erie Resident.
Other people, however, are not concerned about taking a test.
“No I’m not worried about it. If you are going to get it you are going to get it. There is no way around it,” said Henry Green, Erie Resident.
However, Dr. Nadworny said that everyone should be practicing good safety measures to keep others safe in situations like these.
“Try to minimize your risk of picking it up in the four to five days prior to getting together with family which means wearing a snug mask and being careful about being out in crowds,” said Dr. Nadworny.
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Pike said that they will receive more at-home COVID-19 tests on Tuesday.
Other locations such as Walgreens on Peach Street said that they will be getting another shipment of tests on Friday December 31st.