At-home COVID tests in short supply

DAYTON — President Biden recently announced vaccine mandates for federal employees and companies with 100 or more workers.

In some cases, if employees do not get the COVID vaccine, they will be required to do mandatory weekly testing and that is causing a backlog of at-home test kits.

News Center 7′s Kayla Courvell talked with a company that manufactures the at home tests about what they hold up is and when you could see these tests on the shelves again.

The U.S. economy is in a shortage that ranges from cars to food to workers. Nearly every industry has been hit in some way by these shortages. And, at-home COVID tests are not exempt.

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Leo Friedman, CEO of IPROMO, said, “People thought we were done. Back in June we thought the pandemic was over.”

IPROMO is one of the few at-home COVID test providers. Its CEO said with production down, manufacturers are still not up to speed with the latest COVID spike.

Two months ago, Friedman said IPROMO could ship at-home tests to companies the same day. Now, it’s 4-6 weeks out, and with the government requesting 300 million tests, production can’t keep up.

“At the end of the day, it’s a perfect storm right now. The test making capacity in the United States a month ago was only 20 million tests. Now, it’s already up to 50 million, while next month it goes to 75 million and we’re still short,” Friedman said.

According to Friedman, companies with more than 100 employees who will be required to test unvaccinated workers every week have a few options with the test shortage.

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“Option 1 – have those folks not come in, bad option. Option 2 – hire someone on site and get point of care testing. So, hire a nurse or certified administrator so your getting tests that are medical tests. Third option besides wait is what we did…We had HR ship four tests to every employee from CVS who does have allocations to these tests unlike businesses,” Friedman said.

He said he expects things could get worse before they get better.

“My concern is we see the winter spike with COVID. There’s only six manufacturers that have been approved for at-home testing,” Friedman said.

Friedman said, optimistically, he sees more at-home tests on the shelves in four to six weeks. But, it could be six to 10 depending on the demand.

Kayla Courvell

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.