Increasing demand for virus tests is swamping the US system.


WASHINGTON – The country’s corona virus testing capability, already retaining demand, is facing enormous new pressures, holiday travelers are waiting in long queues for testing, overworked labs are constantly struggling and flying fast from pharmacy shelves. The Omigron variant induces a rapid spike in the Govit-19 cases.

Two years into the epidemic, the desire for trials facing limited distribution threatens to thwart President Biden’s response, but this is not a new problem. The United States has withstood the test since the outbreak, experts say, and adapting supply to demand remains a continuing challenge for the Trump and Biden administrations.

Mr. Biden came to the office promising to make testing for the virus cheaper and more accessible, and there have been some improvements since he took office. Lab tests are now plentiful, and a dozen home tests are available. From zero in January. The Food and Drug Administration has accelerated its approval process, with a steady increase in the number of home trials being offered since August; Last month, it was expected to double by March.

But the United States is far from Europe, where three dozen types of home tests can cost from $ 1 to $ 2 per test. Americans can pay up to $ 25 for a two-person box, and insurers are required to reimburse those purchases. Biden’s plan will not take effect until mid – January.

In Miami, Cars line up bumper to bumper This week on the Drive-Through test site. In Providence, RI, no test meetings were available at the local CVS; Those who wished to be tested were advised to purchase the tests at home.

Nationwide, retailers – online and brick and mortar – have trouble stockpiling counter tests. Walmart was selling Abbott’s Rapid antigen test online Friday, but several stores in Washington, DC and its suburbs of Maryland and Virginia were sold out. In Houston, Hon Ho, a pharmacist at local Walkreens, said home tests come in every Wednesday and are sold out the same day.

“They are a hot subject,” Mr. Ho said. “A guy came in and took everyone away.”

Reporting contributed Maria Jimenez Moya From Houston, Ben Berg From Providence, RI, Eric Adelson Orlando, Fla


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