At-home testing kits vanish from Colorado stores, people line up at testing sites

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Need a COVID test? Good luck! Skyrocketing demand and limited supplies are leading to long lines and empty shelves in Colorado.

Signs on store doors stating, “No COVID tests,” are popping up across the Denver metro. There were no at-home tests at the Walgreens at 35th and Colorado late Wednesday where the FOX31 Problem Solvers spoke to those trying to get tested.

“I was hoping to get one today because I’m flying home tomorrow,” said a woman trying to get back home to Oklahoma.

Nationwide, experts say there’s a surge in demand and supply simply cannot keep up. The Walgreens location said they might get more tests next week.

Meanwhile, at Denver’s Central Park neighborhood Walmart, a store associate said they are limiting one test per person. They aren’t sure when more tests will arrive.

“I think they should make them more available, and I think a lot of people would use them,” a Denver resident said.

Walmart corporate told FOX31 it is seeing significant demand for COVID-19 at-home testing kits. However, the retail behemoth said it has strong inventory levels at its stores nationally.

The Problem Solvers also visited a downtown Denver CVS location near Union Station. That pharmacy was also out of testing kits. Near that CVS, people were lined up on a sidewalk for testing at a clinic near 18th and Blake.

Various urgent cares in the metro are reporting long lines and limited-to-zero appointment openings.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said there are more than 150 free COVID testing sites across the state. CDPHE is also pushing its free mailed-to-your-home rapid testing kits. The state said it has distributed more than 1.3 million tests to Coloradans.

“Individuals typically receive their confirmation email and tests about a week after ordering them, but we are seeing some delays with holiday shipping,” CDPHE wrote in an emailed statement. “When someone requests tests they should receive the ordering link within one business day of filling out the form. They will receive a confirmation email when the tests ship,” the department added.

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