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CVS, Walgreens to Begin Limiting Covid Test Purchases

With the holidays just around the corner, many are scrambling to get tested amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.


With the holidays just around the corner, many are scrambling to get tested for Covid amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant before traveling or spending time with loved ones and relatives.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Many major cities are seeing testing wait times that are multiple hours long, leading to a surge in at-home testing and the ever-familiar panic of people bulk-buying items in light of the pandemic.

But two popular drugstores are now implementing a new policy to limit the number of at-home tests customers can purchase at one time in an attempt to keep up with demand.

CVS and Walgreens will both be limiting at-home Covid test purchases effective immediately.

Related: Moderna: Current Vaccines Not As Effective Against Omicron

"To ensure equitable access to tests both in store and digitally, we've added a limit of six test kits per purchase," CVS said in a statement, according to CNN. "We're committed to providing families with protection and peace of mind during the holiday season, and we continue to offer access to lab-based testing with results available in 1-2 days or rapid COVID-19 testing."

Walgreens put out a similar statement, acknowledging the demand for such products and warning of potential shortages.

"We've also seen an increase in demand for rapid OTC COVID-19 tests and are working with our suppliers to ensure customers have access to self-test kits through the holidays," the company said. "Due to the incredible demand for at-home rapid testing, we put into effect a four-item purchase limit on at-home COVID-19 testing products in our stores and digital properties in an effort to help improve inventory while we continue to work diligently with our supplier partners to best meet customer demands. Some stores may experience a temporary shortage in rapid OTC testing solutions."

The new decisions by the drug stores come on the heels of President Joe Biden's announcement on Tuesday that the government had purchased more than half a billion at-home rapid tests to mail to Americans at home beginning next month.

Related: Will Omicron Variant Necessitate Additional Coronavirus Stimulus Check?

"I know some Americans are wondering if you can safely celebrate the holidays with your family and friends. The answer is, yes you can if you and those you celebrate with are vaccinated, particularly if you've gotten your booster shot," Biden said amid the announcement.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, CVS has reportedly administered more than 41 million Covid-19 tests and 50 million Covid-19 vaccines, with Walgreens having administered more than 22 million tests and 55 million vaccines.

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