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More COVID-19 testing options available this holiday season


The second holiday season during the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning, and this year more testing options are available for those wanting some extra peace of mind before seeing loved ones.

According to the state COVID-10 dashboard, Missourians have taken over 88,000 PCR tests this week. That's not including other types of tests available, like antigen and serology. The positivity rate is 9% in Missouri, and there are over 7,000 confirmed cases this week.

Data from the state health department shows PCR testing is the most common test conducted, but at-home COVID testing is available at most pharmacies and becoming popular. Flow's Pharmacy in Columbia told ABC 17 News it's selling out of at-home testing kits.

"We saw high demand at first and then we had trouble getting them," said Anthony Desha, owner of Flow's Pharmacy. "And then the demand kind of went down, but it's back up again.

Desha said the pharmacy is seeing such a high demand for testing, it may soon add drive-thru rapid testing as an option at the clinic.

"It would be like a drive-thru situation where you drive through, get a rapid test and then have your answer in 15 minutes," Desha said.

However, not all self-testing kits are reliable. Sara Humm with Columbia/Boone Public Health and Human Services told ABC 17 that PCR tests are the more efficient.

"When we talk about at-home testing that is using a rapid antigen test, which can be less effective than like a PCR test," Humm said. "So it's important that people know that that if they are taking an antigen test, it can sometimes have false results."

On Nov. 11, 2 million Ellume self-testing COVID kits were recalled. The Food and Drug Administration called it a Class I recall, which is the most serious type. The Ellume kits were recalled for giving false positives. However, the company said negative results were still reliable.

Even as at-home testing becomes more widespread, COVID rapid and PCR testing is still available through doctors and some pharmacies.

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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