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COVID-19 tests go quickly at Memphis giveaway

Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 2:46 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A line of cars stretched over a half-mile on Saturday at a free COVID-19 test giveaway at Springdale Baptist Church in Memphis.

“It really means a lot because with this thing going out of hand, and nobody being able to get tested when they want to get tested, not sure, and not being able to go to work,” one woman said. She added the tests are not only hard to find but expensive.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer hosted the drive-thru giveaway in her district in an effort to provide the free tests to those who may have the least access to them.

“I wanted to make sure that District 7 had access to the tests and I wanted to make sure that we did it right here in District 7,” said Sawyer.

With the omicron variant spreading quickly, the demand for at-home COVID-19 tests has outpaced the supply, leaving many store shelves empty and leading to enormously long lines at COVID-19 testing sites.

The White House says relief is on the way.

Starting Wednesday, Americans will be able to order free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests by visiting COVIDtests.gov where they can order up to four tests per household.

The tests will ship in seven to 12 days, meaning the earliest orders won’t arrive until late January.

Those who waited in line Saturday say they hope at-home tests will become much easier to access soon.

“I think it needs to be where you can feel safe to get tested at home and not have to get out and get in all the hoopla going on,” one woman said.

All of the tests at Sawyer’s giveaway went quickly.

They ran out of tests within an hour, showing just how great the demand really is.

See a full report on Action News 5 at 10 p.m.

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