While there were supply challenges in the beginning, Niagara-on-the-Lake pharmacies are now stocked with COVID-19 rapid tests.
Julie Taylor, owner of Stone Road Pharmacy in Virgil, said the pharmacy is now receiving 300 tests per week and they aren’t flying off the shelves.
She said in general people are feeling “a lot more relaxed” that the tests are reliably available.
“Everyone's breathing a sigh of relief,” Taylor said.
At Simpson's Pharmacy, “Supplies of free test kits are readily available now and we also have an ample supply that we purchased that we will be selling once the free ones run out,” owner Sean Simpson said.
“Hopefully, the increased access to rapid testing will help guide people’s decisions on returning to work and social settings after illness,” he said.
“Although vaccination passport requirements are being dropped, we continue to provide vaccine to those wishing to receive it in order to protect themselves and others. We are also well stocked with KN95 and CA-N95 masks,” Simpson said.
It was fairly easy for her pharmacy to obtaining the kits, Taylor said.
“I expressed my interest and 300 test kits started arriving weekly.”
The first batch she had went extremely quickly, she said, but the pace has “declined now.”
“The first 300 went into days, and now we didn't even go through the next 300 in a week.”
She will keep receiving 300 tests per week at her discretion, however she said one catch is a lack of storage space to keep them.
“”With all the COVID supplies, we've ended up with a lot more products than originally anticipated. When you think of masks and sanitizer and vaccines, and then all the stuff that goes with the vaccines, the syringes, the sharps containers. And now the rapid tests.”
“It takes up a lot of storage space, so we need to be very mindful of how much we have. It's a balance of meeting the demand, but then also just recognizing that I'm a small pharmacy and I'm limited to the real estate I have.”
She said anyone can stop in and get a box of tests. Right now they are being limited to one per household.
Each box contains five rapid tests.