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Shortage of in-home COVID-19 test kits in the Quad Cities

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 3:04 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - There is a shortage of in-home test kits for COVID-19 across the country. According to a story published by AARP, the Delta variant and surge in new cases led to a shortage of the kits. Dr. Bill Langley did some checking and found Quad City retail pharmacies are also in short supply. You can still get tested through your primary care provider, urgent care facility, or local hospital emergency room.

Since many mass COVID testing sites like the one at NorthPark Mall in Davenport and at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline were removed, some say it’s more difficult to find out whether they have the Coronavirus.

Brianna Nielsen says her kids were exposed to COVID-19 at daycare and she’s been trying to get rapid testing for her family, but it’s proven to be a challenge. “I feel like this pandemic’s been going on a long time and we all heard about rapid testing, so we all think ‘Oh, we can just go to the store, get rapid testing.’ And that wasn’t really the experience I ended up having,” says Nielsen.

She tried Hyvee’s rapid testing site, but an appointment wouldn’t be available for a few days. While you can buy tests at some stores, they’re sold out at Walgreen’s, Walmart, and CVS. Nielsen had at-home test kits from Test Iowa that will still take about 3-5 days for results. Her children had to get tested at their pediatrics office. Nielsen says the nurses were very helpful, but it’s frustrating that the results aren’t immediate; “since my daughter’s three months old, I don’t know if she has it. She can’t tell me if she hurts. I’m just watching her very closely, but babies don’t necessarily act the same way every day so it’s like, ‘oh, was that something new or is that just how she’s acting today?’ So it’s really, really a stressful weight on the baby more than anything.”

Nielsen says she was vaccinated towards the end of her pregnancy, so she believes some of the vaccine has been passed to her infant through the placenta and breast milk.

Iowa is providing free, in-home test kits at certain health departments, health facilities, and through the mail. You can find a location or request one be sent to your home by going to the Test Iowa website.

Illinois is providing free saliva testing at Black Hawk College in Moline, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to noon, according to the state coronavirus website. Testing is also offered in Sterling, Dixon and through Community Health, Inc. You can find more information at the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

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