Richmond Hill pharmacy seeing higher demand in COVID-19 testing

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 3:57 PM EST
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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - Many people are making New Year’s Eve plans for this weekend.

WTOC spoke with a local pharmacist to see what the demand for COVID-19 tests is looking like right now.

At the height of the pandemic, Richmond Hill Pharmacy Pharmacist Alex Tucker says they were testing about 30 people a day. Then over the last few months the number went down significantly, until now.

“When I got in this morning we already had 14 or 15 people requesting tests today,” Tucker said.

Tests are in high demand as people return home from where they spent Christmas.

“Majority of those were either symptomatic or exposed to someone with COVID.”

He says since last week, they’ve seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 test requests. He says this is typical to see during the weeks that bookend a holiday.

“We are still doing, of course, a lot of travel tests. Those people are usually, obviously, presenting with no signs or symptoms. Just looking to get on a plane and travel somewhere.”

This is the case for Cindy Waldrop and her husband who are getting on a cruise later this week.

“We need to show the cruise line that we’re negative so that we can board the ship,” said Waldrop.

Waldrop says this is her third travel test she’s taken this year.

“It’s not a big deal and my insurance doesn’t pay for it, but it’s worth it to travel.”

Tucker says what many people find more convenient is taking an at-home test, but they’re having a hard time keeping them on the shelves.

“We will order the max, obviously, and those will be in stock here for no more than two days and we’re sold out. Getting those tests, like I say, is just hit or miss.”

Tucker says they get at least 10 calls a day from people asking if they have them in stock.

“Our wholesaler is telling us the next release date for them would be the second week of January, so for the next three weeks we’re still able to get the ones that we perform here at the store.”

Tucker says they do have people calling to make appointments for a test because they found out they were exposed during the Christmas weekend, but he reminds people that they need to wait about four to five days after exposure to take a test to get a more accurate result.

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