COVID Testing Demand Spikes Ahead of Holidays With Long Lines at Sites

As case numbers rise and worries about the omicron variant take hold, both at-home and PCR tests may be harder to come by

NBC Universal, Inc.

As Americans prepare to travel for holiday gatherings, the celebrations appear increasingly likely to overlap with surging COVID-19 cases and the rapid spread of the omicron variant. Those threats, in turn, are spurring a clamor for PCR testing, rapid tests and at-home kits.

The problem? COVID-19 tests are getting harder to come by. Some public health officials anticipate a renewed strain on testing resources, while sites in cities like New York City and Miami are already seeing long lines.

Source: CoVariants
Amy O’Kruk/NBC

"The reality is testing resources aren't infinite in this country," said Dr. Meena Brewster, the health officer in St. Mary's County, Maryland, which is south of Washington. "Depending on how omicron goes, we may very well get to long delays in test turnaround times and very restricted access to testing, like where we were early on in the pandemic."

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