Over-the-counter COVID tests in short supply in Minnesota

Websites for Walgreens, CVS and other pharmacies list brands of the tests as out of stock. Even in Minnesota, where residents have easier access to free tests than neighboring states, rapid tests appear to be in short supply.

“Having been to a couple pharmacies recently, when we were looking for some of those rapid tests, they are sold out at a lot of pharmacies in Minnesota,” said Dr. Amy Karger, an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 infections driven by the coronavirus delta variant, a renewed demand for the tests has made them hard to find. The makers of one rapid test brand in August told The New York Times that demand was 1,000 times what it had forecast.

The Minnesota Department of Health last week cited the demand for tests in announcing the launch of two “semi-permanent” testing sites in Lino Lakes and Minneapolis. The move stands in contrast to the closure of several state-run testing sites earlier in the summer amid a decline in new cases.

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