Where can you get at home COVID-19 tests around the Valley?
As the Omicron variant continues to be responsible for the COVID-19 case increase across the nation, Americans are having a hard time getting their hands on at-home testing kits.
With free testing giveaways in Canfield and Youngstown running out of supplies, we went searching for where else you can get your hands on these hot commodities in the Mahoning Valley.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a number of pharmacies and grocery stores we called said they have options for people looking to buy tests—and the cost ranges drastically at each location.
The Rite-Aid located at 2701 Market Street in Youngstown near Youngstown-Salem Road has testing kits available for as much as $100, and as little as $9.99.
Local CVS Pharmacies also have kits for $9.99 with their most expensive test costing consumers $25.
Several Giant Eagle stores around the area sell the testing brand On/Go, which is authorized for use by the FDA and has a 95% accuracy rate for determining whether someone is positive or negative for COVID-19.
The Giant Eagle at Southern Crossings shopping plaza in Boardman said they currently have 92 On/Go brand tests at their store. They cost $29.99 per kit. A representative said the store received a large shipment of those tests on Tuesday.
Two Valley Walgreens have tests available for $23.99 per kit. All local Walmart's currently have tests available for $14 each.
The Public Library of Youngstown had testing kits available recently, but have ran out over the past week.
The Youngstown City Health District was giving tests away for free early Wednesday, but ran out after just two hours.
It was supposed to be an all-day event from 8:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon with 3,000 tests to give away.
The health district allowed 4 tests per vehicle and after 750 cars, they were tapped out.
Erin Bishop, Youngstown's Health Commissioner, credits the overwhelming demand for these tests to fear and worry.
"People are scared now, you know, I was talking to ODH just now, people are worried about the Omicron," said Bishop. "They're worried about getting together for the holidays, some people still aren't vaccinated," she said.
The average cost of these at home tests is $33.16 per kit, though that depends on the brand of test and how many tests come in each kit. Most kits come with an average of one or two tests per package.
People who need more tests have the option to buy at home tests in bulk online. The wholesale PPE retail service RN Wellness sells test kits like BinaxNOW, which is authorized by the FDA for emergency use. Each kit comes with two tests.
Those test can be purchased in large quantities of 20, 100, or 200 kits. Each kit has two tests. The 20 test option has a retail price of $383.06 and can be shipped to your home in two days. That averages to $19.53 per kit, or $9.57 per individual test.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported a record 12,865 single-day cases of COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
The Omicron variant now makes up 73% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Associated Press.
Experts have agreed that at home tests are capable of detecting Omicron cases.
Bishop tells 21 News they will be having another giveaway next Wednesday and are hoping to do it at the Covelli Centre.