Central Texans search for COVID tests — where to get one ahead of work week

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — COVID-19 testing sites around Central Texas are continuing to see an uptick as the omicron variant spreads. Many providers say they’ve had to turn people away due to the demand.

On Sunday, a line snaked around a testing site off Martin Luther King Boulevard and Springdale Road in Austin as temperatures were in the 40s.

“We weren’t able to get in anywhere else as far as CVS or Walgreens,” Holly Sexton said.

Sexton and her family went to test for safe measure through Curative this week. It took more than 48 hours for them to get their test results back.

KXAN Viewer: Gerald Guerra waits in long cold line to get COVID test Sunday.

“It almost seems as if getting them two to three days later wouldn’t be as meaningful,” said Sexton.

Point of Care Health Services had to order additional shipments due to the demand. Point of Care has been testing anywhere from two to 300 people a day at its mobile testing sites.

“We are still seeing a huge increase in positive tests, especially with the general public that we test, probably up by 20%,” Point of Care founder Wendy Garner said.

“We’re still accepting appointments for consumers and public clinics on Wednesday and Friday of this week,” said Garner.

Though at-home tests are difficult to find, the company Gopuff says they’ve got the at-home tests on demand.

“In the last month, for example, we’ve seen nearly a 5,000% increase in COVID test kit sales at Gopuff here in Austin,” said Eva Behrend, Gopuff Communications. “Over the last week, we’ve seen a 230% increase in pain relief items and more than a 100% increase in sales of cold and flu products.”

Gopuff delivers household goods to your door within 20-30 minutes. If the at-home test is out of stock, there’s a feature to keep you updated.

“You can ask to be informed on when it’s back in stock and it’ll be at your door in 20-30 minutes when it’s back in stock,” said Behrend.

Testing at the Long Center resumes Monday, Jan. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

These are some of the largest test distributors across Texas:

CVS Pharmacy says it’s working around the clock to provide stores with inventory of the five over-the-counter at-home COVID tests: Abbott BinaxNOW, Acon FlowFlex, Quidel Quickvue, Ellume, and Pixel by LabCorp.

“To ensure equitable access to tests both in store and digitally, we’ve added a limit of six test kits per purchase. Due to a recent surge in demand, and to retain community-based access to tests in our stores, there may be temporary out-of-stocks for these products on CVS.com,” a CVS spokesperson said.

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