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As at-home COVID-19 test kits get scarce, Northeast Ohio looks for alternatives

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Andrew Meyer
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WKSU
At-home COVID-19 test kits are still available in limited supply at local pharmacies and grocery stores

Summit County does not currently have a COVID-19 mass testing site, but it's working with the Ohio Department of Health and the National Guard to get one up and running by next week.

Meanwhile, Summit County Public Health has run out of free testing kits as have all of the county libraries. In the meantime, Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says the options are to find a home testing kit at a local pharmacy or grocery or head to Cleveland to its mass testing site.

She says people should not go to the emergency room just to get tested.

Donna Skoda, Summit County Health Commissioner

“If you don’t have a test and if you’re not feeling well, you should stay home. Wear a mask, stay away from people and at least watch your symptoms for 10 days, 14 days. We tell people to not go to the ER just to get a test because it just totally clogs everything up.”

Skoda says Summit County has PCR testing appointments available through its website. Summit County Public Health has handed out around 45,000 testing kits so far and is awaiting more from the state.

The commissioner is once again stressing the need for people to get vaccinated or boosted.

Lorain County has also run out of the free testing kits that were being distributed through libraries and other local organizations.

Health Commissioner Mark Adams says the only option right now is to try and find a test at a pharmacy or grocery store, as the mass testing site in Cleveland may not be a viable option.

Adams says the mass testing site was shut down early due to high demand.

“We were told by the state earlier to direct people to the testing location in Cleveland, but I believe they have also closed down due to the traffic backups and the demand.”

Adams says he does not know when the county will receive more take home tests. He says the state is overwhelmed by requests for tests as demand continues to outstrip supply.

Medina County has PCR testing appointments available through their health center. Those looking for appointments in Medina County can call 330-723-9688.

Updated: December 21, 2021 at 4:57 PM EST
This story has been updated to include information about Lorain County.
Jay Shah is a broadcast journalist finishing her Master of Arts degree at Kent State University. She joined WKSU as a news intern in 2020 and now works as a freelance producer for Ideastream Public Media’s daily local news headlines.
Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.