NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Less than 24 hours after more than 200,000 COVID at-home tests arrived in Arkansas, most distribution sites are out.
The shortage comes as thousands of Arkansans flock to local libraries, community centers and health units looking for the free kits, which the state ordered a few weeks ago.
The William F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock was one of the few places in Pulaski County that started the day with tests after having to close their central location Tuesday, the first day of state-wide distribution. They had received 20 cases of tests with 90 boxes of double tests each. The supply only lasted the branch about 4 hours before they were all claimed.
The Central Arkansas Library System was clear of COVID tests throughout their entire system by Wednesday morning, with another shipment expected that evening just a few hours before the library closed. Laman said their next shipment wouldn’t be expected until Thursday morning at the earliest, and local health units were also almost fully out by the end of the day.
A few lucky people were able to snag a kit or two before they were all gone, having to head to grab to local sites well before noon. One such woman, Marsha, said it was her first time trying the at-home kit and she heard through word of mouth that Laman had a few kits left.
Bill and Sissy weren’t sure where they would be able to pick up the tests, having made calls and checked websites with no luck. The duo had family who had tested positive and wanted to make sure their runny noses and scratchy throats were just allergies. They initially tried Laman after hearing a rundown of testing sites on the radio.
“We called and they said yes, we have them,” Sissy explained. “So, we jumped in the car and came down here and they’re here!”
Just about a half-hour after the couple nabbed their kits, they were out of stock.
With more shipments expected tomorrow and in subsequent days around the state, many sites will have stock of the tests once more, but the question of just how much stock remains. It’s recommended people check the distribution site’s social media to see of any announcements or changes or call before hearing in to see if they have kits left.