CVS, Walgreens, Amazon Are Among the Retailers Limiting Purchases of At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Close up Coronavirus Home Test (COVID-19) on a sofa in living room London England.
Circle Creative Studio / Getty Images

In light of the rapid surge of Omicron cases throughout the country and during the holiday season, several retailers and pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS, Amazon and Kroger, are limiting the number of at-home COVID-19 tests Americans can buy.

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Walgreens said in a statement that it has seen an increase in demand for over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests and is working with its suppliers to ensure customers have access to self-test kits through the holidays.

“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,” the statement said. Walgreens added that some stores may experience a temporary shortage in OTC rapid tests.

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CVS issued a similar statement, saying that tests may be temporarily out of stock at its stores, according to CNN.

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“To ensure equitable access to tests both in store and digitally, we’ve added a limit of six test kits per purchase,” the company 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.”

Kroger’s website notes that it’s limiting customers to one test per order, but the tests are out of stock.

As for Amazon, it is limiting purchases of its own at-home COVID-19 test collection kits to 10 on its online marketplace, CNN reported. “We are working hard to secure additional COVID-19 test inventory from sellers,” a spokesperson said, according to CNN.

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On Dec. 21, the White House announced it will purchase a half-billion at-home rapid tests this winter to be distributed for free to Americans who want them, with the initial delivery starting in January 2022.

The administration will set up a website where Americans can go to get at-home tests delivered to their home — for free, according to a White House statement.

In addition, the White House said it would install new federal testing sites around the country to help states that need additional testing capacity. The first will be in New York City this week.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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