By Paul Gessler

DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — A shortage of COVID-19 rapid tests continues nationwide, including at many stores in Maryland.

A CDC bulletin this month advised labs to expect increased demand because of the shortage in rapid test kits and supplies.

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“The need (for testing) is there,” Philippe Deugoue of Baltimore County said after getting tested in Dundalk Tuesday. “People want to make sure they’re OK, even if it’s not to go back to work. People want to make sure they don’t have that variant.”

It is unclear what has caused the shortage in over-the-counter test supplies. Many stores with test kits in stock are limiting the number of tests people can buy.

“Across the country, this is happening, where the resources that were going to these testing sites are going toward vaccination,” Dr. Gigi Gronvall of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said. “Rapid tests are really good at determining if something has a lot of virus in their nose at that time. Then, people can take action on it, like, at that time. So, it’s a really good public health tool and I hope we get more of them.”

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Dr. Gronvall said people returning to work and school have driven up the demand for testing and the need to know results quickly.

“Not only was there Delta, so there are increased number of cases, but people are going back to school,” Dr. Gronvall said. “It really is a shame, because there are so many advantages of these rapid tests.”

A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health told WJZ there is no shortage of rapid tests available to schools.

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For a list of testing sites in Maryland by location, click here. https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/symptoms-testing

Paul Gessler