‘I was looking for an at-home COVID test’: Community, local pharmacy hopes for additional stock


GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- It’s been hard to find at-home COVID-19 test kits at local pharmacies due to high demand. One woman, who did not want to be identified told Local 5’s Eric Richards she needed to test her teenage daughter.

“I have been searching for kits and in fact Monday, my daughter had symptoms and I was calling around looking for kits,” she said. Reaching out to Hometown Pharmacy in De Pere, she was able to find an alternative. “I called here and they said they didn’t have any, but they did have drive-thru rapid testing I could do,” she said.

The shortage has many wondering what is going on? Is it supply chain issues? Is it weather related? The two pharmacies Local 5 spoke to, Streu’s Pharmacy Bay Natural in Green Bay and Hometown Pharmacy in De Pere, said they did not know the exact reasoning behind the delays in shipments.

“I think it basically started happening before the holidays, when people started traveling to see grandma and grandpa,” said Sarah Bowker, Pharmacist and Owner of Hometown. Bowker says travelers wanted to make sure to be tested before reaching their destinations. “At that time, we couldn’t keep them on the shelves, they flew out the door and since then we haven’t been able to get them back in,” said Bowker.

At Streu’s Pharmacy Bay Natural in Green Bay, there has also been a shortage of test kits over the last several weeks. “They’ve been on back order through our major drug wholesaler,” said Jeff Kirchner, Pharmacist. Kirchner says they have been exploring other avenues in getting the test kits in. “Our supply would really have to come through Amazon if we want to order it and they’re telling us we’d have to buy thousands of units to be able to even acquire those,” said Kirchner.

Both locations are offering PCR and rapid COVID-19 testing on site. You don’t even need to leave your vehicle to be tested. Visit De Pere Hometown Pharmacy or Streu’s Pharmacy Bay Natural in Green Bay for more information. Tip: make sure you have had symptoms for between 3 and 5 days before getting tested to heighten the accuracy rate of the test.

The Wisconsin Department of Health is still offering free at-home supervised testing kits. In January of 2021, Local 5’s Eric Richards ordered the test online and followed the instructions. At last check, on The Vault website, which handles the testing kits, a message stating, “all test kits have been shipped already for today” popped up after selecting Wisconsin. There is also a question on if you would like to pay for one, because all have been shipped. Remember the DHS is providing them for free, so you may have to check back on the site to see specific availability earlier in the day.

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