TAMPA, Florida – With Christmas days away, thousands of Floridians are looking to gather with confidence, but some stores have just announced that they will place a purchase limit on COVID-19 testing products at home. This comes as the demand for testing has increased.
These large retailers include CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.
On Wednesday morning, a FOX 13 team checked the location of the CVS Tampa Pharmacy on South Howard Avenue and discovered that the store had a lot of test kits in stock, but they were being held behind the counter and unavailable on shelves to control supplies.
CVS pharmacies now limit sales of test kits to six per person. The chain said on its website that products may be temporarily out of stock as it prioritizes inventory in its stores.
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Walgreens said Tuesday it was limiting online and in-store test kit purchases to four per customer. The company also said it was working with suppliers to catch up with demand.
Walmart sets a limit of eight tests for each online order, but allows its physical stores to set their own limits based on stock levels.
FOLLOWING: Between the holidays and the omicron, demand for COVID tests surges
The cap on test kit sales comes after the Biden administration said earlier Tuesday it would buy 500 million rapid home tests that Americans can order online for free starting in January.
Omicron quickly became the dominant strain in the United States in mid-December, pouring cold water in hopes of a more normal holiday season, reducing restrictions and stretching the country’s testing infrastructure in the middle. travel and vacation gatherings.
In the United States, omicron accounted for 73% of new infections last week, health officials said – and the variant is responsible for about 90% or more of new infections in the New York City, southern region. Eastern, Industrial Midwest, and Pacific Northwest.
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Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK rose 60% in one week as omicron overtook the delta as the dominant variant there. Globally, the variant has been detected in at least 89 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
The Associated Press contributed to this report