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At-home testing kits scarce in Mobile forcing many to get a test other ways

By TYLER FINGERT

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — COVID cases are once again surging in the South. Thousands are testing positive every day in Alabama and Mobile County is seeing a similar bump in cases.

With the rising case count many are on the hunt for rapid at-home testing kits. That rush, wiping out the supply in the local area. Most pharmacies are out or about to be.

“People just started coming in and the demand just became really high,” said Teresa Elmore, a Pharmacist at Dawes Pointe Pharmacy.

Elmore says a month ago they had about 100 tests on hand, on Tuesday they had zero and it has been that way for about two weeks.

“After Thanksgiving the rise in cases went drastically up plus people being exposed and then some people just wanting to test before getting together with family so we just sold more and more and when we tried to reorder they were out,” she said.

With so many at-home tests sold out, people are lining up at urgent cares and other testing sites to find out if they are positive.

“It is just spreading like wildfire,” said Dr. Scott Harris, the Alabama State Health Officer.

On Monday, the Mobile County Health Department reached capacity at their testing site more than three hours before closing.

The Dr. Harris says they are working to ramp up testing.

“We do not have enough testing to go around,” he said. “I don’t think any state has enough testing to go around, but we’re working to address it.”

Back at Dawes Pointe Pharmacy, they are on the hunt for more at-home tests and they hope to get resupplied as soon as possible.

“We order online and we check the site every day, two to three times a day to see if they get the supply in because we can quick order them if they did,” Elmore said.

Alabama testing numbers show roughly two out every five people tested for COVID-19 in the last seven days are testing positive.

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