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Lexington doctor calls for more accessible COVID testing

COVID testing line.jpg
Posted at 11:17 PM, Dec 26, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Demand for COVID-19 tests has spiked during the holidays, leading to long lines across the country.

Cars waiting in line at the Wild Health COVID-19 testing site near Kroger Field extended into the road Sunday, yet many appointments remain available.

"We're really lucky in Lexington that we have lots of good PCR testing sites that you could go to if you weren't able to find a rapid at-home test," said Dr. Elizabeth Hawse, a pediatrician at Commonwealth Pediatrics in Lexington.

Dr. Hawse said testing needs to be more accessible throughout the country, given the spread of the contagious omicron variant.

She pointed to at-home rapid tests, which have been flying off shelves in pharmacies and stores, but can cost $20.

"In other countries such as Canada or Great Britain those tests are just available," she said. "They're free and that way people can test. So the more accessible we can make testing, the more knowledge we're going to have about how much COVID is in the community."

In a speech on the fight against the omicron variant last week, President Joe Biden announced his administration would purchase 500 million at-home rapid tests to be made available free of charge to Americans. The first deliveries are expected in early January.