Rapid COVID-19 Tests Scarce in Hamilton County
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Late last week, the health department told the community they would have free rapid COVID-19 testing available today. In a reverse of course, they sent out a memo early this morning they have run out.
“Over the holidays we did see an increase in the interest in the public demand for a rapid test and COVID-19 test in general but right now we are currently out of our COVID-19 test,” says Hamilton County Health Department spokesperson Joeli Poole.
With a large spike in COVID cases around the country, and just in time for holiday travel, the lack of rapid tests is everywhere.
The Hamilton County Health Department says there are other options. “They are ordered,” says Poole. “We have placed orders. But right now we are still waiting. We don’t know when they’ll arrive, what day, but they are on the way. Right now we still have the Everlywell regular PCR COVID-19 tests, plenty of them in stock and they are available until those run out as well.”
PCR tests take longer because they require trained technicians and special lab equipment which actually tests the samples’ molecules for the virus.
The PCR take-home tests are still being offered for free while supplies last.”With the PCR Everlywell test, it does come with a pre-paid shipping label so the test has to be sent the same day that it has been taken and right now it’s taking a few days to get your results back.”
Information can be found on the health department’s website at health.hamiltontn.org.
As of today, tests are available at the Health Department at 921 3rd Street from 9 am to 3 pm.
Testing is also offered Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. at Lifespring Community Health at 1042 east 3rd street and Clinica Medicos through appointments scheduled on their website at clinicamedicos.org.
When those rapid tests arrive to the Hamilton Copunty Health Department, you can count on News 12 to keep you updated.