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Shortage of antigen tests continues in Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on across the country and here in Missouri, the amount of at-home tests available to Missourians is scarce and people are facing long lines at testing centers.

This comes as Governor Mike Parson put an end to the state of emergency on December 31st, 2021. Governor Parson declared the State of Emergency back on March 13th, 2020.

"Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine, widespread efforts to mitigate the virus, and our committed health care professionals, past needs to continue the state of emergency are no longer present," Gov. Parson said.

The Department of Education and Secondary Education announced on Monday, that they will not be able to provide antigen tests to schools in Missouri for the time being due to a supply shortage from the manufacturer that provides the state with the antigen tests. Hundreds of schools and districts rely on DESE's antigen test program to quickly determine if a student or staff member is positive with COVID-19.

On Dec. 29th Gov. Parson said, "The state of Missouri isn't short on tests, you have a problem getting one because of the lines and staffing issues and things like that, but there is no shortage of tests in this state. We have the test."

Gov. Parson went on to say, "that's not the case here, we stockpiled test and we still have those and we are going to utilize them."

DHSS resumed their free at-home PCR testing kits Wednesday after a six day pause. Missourians can order a test though the DHSS website. The state takes up to 500 test requests a day starting at midnight.

Lisa Cox, Communications Director with DHSS says, "our vendor resets at midnight and we have a limited availability, 500 available each day at that time and then when we reach that amount of orders it's paused again until the next day."

Before people could make it to work, the website said the daily limit was already reached. When first checked at 7:55 a.m the website said, "limit reached."

The test can take up to two days to arrive in your mailbox, since demand has continuing to increase there have been some delays.

Once you complete the test you can send it back through Fedex drop-off site or you can schedule a Fedex pick-up at your location.

The health department is working with other PCR test manufacturers to increase the supply of test they can provide.

The White House announced on Wednesday, that the Biden Administration is taking charge on keeping all schools safely open for full-time in-person learning by increasing access to COVID-19 testing in schools.

This new approach will provide access to tests in schools by 10 million per month. The increase in tests will help schools remain open and implement screening testing and test to stay programs. This will double the number of tests that took place in schools across the country in Nov. 2021.

Erika McGuire

Comments

2 Comments

  1. “rely on DESE’s antigen test program to quickly determine if a student or staff member is positive with COVID-19” Correction: quickly determine if a student or staff member TESTS positive. The antigen test is even less reliable than the PCR test.

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