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Magic Valley clinics running low on respiratory virus tests, not of concern for schools yet

“Our nurses were actually just able to pick up some additional testing supplies and so we feel pretty good right now.”
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 8:17 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Increased demand for respiratory virus testing has begun to deplete the supply of such tests at Magic Valley clinics.

“The supply chain has definitely dwindled,” said Sean Christensen, Clinic Manager of Twin Falls Urgent Care. “Most healthcare providers in the area use the Abbott Binax rapid COVID test, they have a government contract that they have to fill first, so there is a shortage of those supplies.”

Area schools are not yet worried about the supply interruption saying they will be able to continue to have access to these tests, allowing parents to make the best decisions for their children.

“Our nurses were actually just able to pick up some additional testing supplies and so we feel pretty good right now,” said Eva Craner of the Twin Falls School District. “But that could change depending on the demand that comes in over the next few weeks.”

Craner also said that demand is increasing for school-administered tests.

“This year we are seeing more folks call in,” Craner said. “I don’t know if that is because there is more need for it, or if more and more people are just aware that the service is offered.”

This increase could result in a lack of test supply, especially for the more common, faster Abbott Binax rapid test, meaning a need to lean on lab-based tests which currently take a few days to produce a result.

“When this happened last year, that got to where it was four and five days before results came,” Christensen said. “Then, they actually started to run out of supplies as well.”

But, for now, Christensen is confident his clinic, and area schools, should be able to maintain some testing supply.

“I know we’ve heard of other facilities that have run out of these rapid COVID tests, hopefully, that is just a temporary thing,” Christensen said. “I did check this week and there are multiple tests available that they can get in.”

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