TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — The hot item this Christmas may turn out to be the at-home COVID test.
People in Central Texas are finding at-home COVID tests are harder to come by these days, although I did check the websites for Walgreens and CVS, and there are drive-through testing sites with availability. But the at-home tests Travis County was giving out? All gone.
By 10 a.m., there were no more at-home COVID test kits to be had at the six Travis County community centers giving them out. A spokesman for the county sent out a statement saying that 1,362 test kits were handed out in less than 24 hours.
That’s as people weigh the uptick in COVID cases against planned holiday celebrations, something President Biden addressed on national TV Tuesday. “We should all be concerned about omicron but not panicked,” he said.
Here in Central Texas, Austin Public Health Medical Director Dr. Desmar Walkes sat down with CBS Austin’s John Carlos Estrada. “If you’re getting ready to go out of town, to see your friends and loved ones that you haven’t seen in a while, you’re not living with them it’s a really good idea to get tested,” she said.
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Public health authorities say people who are boosted have the most amount of protection – but even they could have an asymptomatic infection. “Doesn’t matter if you have symptoms, if you’ve been vaccinated or not just test to make sure you’re not sick,” said Dr. Walkes.
Meantime, as Austinites get on social media to compare notes about where to find at-home test kits – it’s a reminder that testing at a testing site is easier and faster than it was a year ago.