Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Demand in Arkansas for take-home tests growing with omicron concerns

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – UAMS officials have seen a noticeable increase in the number of people coming through their drive-thru testing site. 

Last week they averaged about 115 tests per day and this week it’s now closer to 190 per day.

“People that are coming to see family members and so they want to be tested before they see family,” Robert Hopkins with UAMS said.

Hopkins encourages anyone who has experienced any type of symptoms to get tested even if folks think it’s just sinuses. 

“If anybody’s sick or around anybody that’s been sick, they need to be tested because we don’t want to take a chance on bringing something to those folks who are going to have severe illness,” Hopkins said.

Over at Cornerstone Pharmacy on Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock they have seen a steady increase in their rapid testing numbers. 

Owner and pharmacist Brittany Marsh said they are doing about 15-20 per day whereas over the summer it was about 5-10 daily.

“With the new variant coming out and things closing down again, the holidays, the uptick in holiday traffic, people are really starting to get tested more,” Marsh said.

Marsh said their numbers are still well below last Christmas’ testing numbers.  She credits the vaccine being available and people being more comfortable gathering this year.

“The vaccine is probably the reason for a little less testing this year.  People are vaccinated, they feel safer, they feel more secure being around their family that they’re not going to give it to someone else,” Marsh explained.

She also said Cornerstone Pharmacy they have seen a steady uptick in the demand for at-home testing kits. 

“It’s been a steady increase and we look for the next week or two, before and after the holidays to just continue to climb on the testing,” she said.

Marsh said their supply has been fine and with the Biden Administration providing more kits for pharmacies across the country she doesn’t think it will cause issues with supply.

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