WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – At the Wheat Ridge Professional Pharmacy, Owner Jenna Eccles says having at-home Covid tests on the shelf is a bit of a guessing game.
“This one here has two in a box,” she said.
Right now they have only a handful left.
“You see the zero and you know you can’t order them. It’s disappointing,” she said.
It’s a struggle they are navigating as demand is growing.
“In the last three weeks there are a lot more people reaching out to see if we have any, just cold calling or people walking in,” Eccles said.
And that interest will likely increase following the president’s announcement of a new action plan to fight Covid and the new omicron strain with a focus on more at-home testing.
“The third piece of this is making free at-home tests more available than ever before and having them covered by your private insurance plans,” said President Biden.
If you can find one, picking up a kit at most pharmacies right now means paying out of pocket anywhere from $25-60.
Under Biden’s plan that money would be reimbursed. Eccles has concerns this could become a roadblock to access, particularly for those on fixed incomes.
“I feel like anyone who tries to pay upfront and get reimbursed later, it is going to be much more difficult. Why can’t we look at it like the flu shot?” she said.
There are free testing sites in almost every county in Colorado and free at-home tests are available through the state, but both take time.
Eccles says being able to get a test and its results at a moment’s notice is what the community needs and has for some time.
“I think the new variant is making us realize that we need to take more control of this in our personal lives,” she said.
The president says their plan would include sending millions of at-home tests to community health agencies and clinics for those who do not have private insurance.