Demand for at-home tests exceeding supply

Posted at 4:08 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 18:02:55-05

COLUMBIA, Md (WMAR) — Hundreds of people waited in line Tuesday afternoon for at-home COVID test kits from the Howard County Health Department.

“As soon as I saw it on Facebook, I put my jacket on and drove here,” said Keith Blair.

He was the first in line at around 11 a.m. Rachel Murphy followed shortly after. She tried to get tested at a mobile unit with no success.

“I got there an hour before and they were like ‘Nope, we are done’. There were tons of people trying to wait,” said Murphy. “Everyone’s so scared of going back and whatever happened with Christmas so this is great that they’re doing this,” said Murphy.

Andy Krew’s mom was also right up at the front, before Krew came to swap shifts with her.

“I drove over. She was like bring your chair, bring your crochet,” said Krew.

It was a very organized operation. The health department knew they had kits for 333 people, so they gave out that many tickets. They ran out before they even started giving away tests. In the hours after the giveaway, there was a steady stream of people coming and trying to get tests, only to be told they are out.

“I’m excited because I’ve been trying to get a test from regular places, like you can’t go to urgent care. You definitely can’t do hospitals so this is a blessing that we are at least able to get tested and go home and stay safe,” said Tonya.

“It’s an incredible privilege to be able to come out at 3 o’clock on a Tuesday because a lot of people are at work right now and are not able to come and get these resources from the county,” said Krew.

Many counties are out of these kits, including Anne Arundel, which is now only offering testing by appointment.

The Howard County Health Department expects more kits next week and is still hosting a PCR testing clinic Wednesday at the back of their building at 8930 Stanford Blvd.