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Amazon, CVS Health and Walgreens have announced they will limit the amount of at-home COVID-19 tests customers can purchase following a recent uptick in cases amid the emergence of the omicron variant.
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Amazon is capping purchases of its COVID-19 test collection kits to 10 per customer.
"Our goal is to offer the widest selection of products, in-stock and ready to ship to customers, however in some cases it’s possible that items may sell out. At this time, similar to other retailers, we are experiencing inventory shortages on some COVID-19 tests due to increased demand," an Amazon spokesperson told FOX Business. "We are working hard to secure additional COVID-19 test inventory available from our selling partners."
The company emphasized that third-party sellers are allowed to set their own product quantity limits for COVID-19 tests available on its website.
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Meanwhile, CVS Health confirmed to FOX Business that it will limit customers to six at-home test kits per purchase of its five over-the-counter offerings, including Abbott BinaxNOW, Acon FlowFlex, Quidel Quickvue, Ellume, and Pixel by LabCorp.
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"Due to a recent surge in demand, and to retain community-based access to tests in our stores, there may be temporary out-of-stocks for these products on CVS.com," a spokesperson added. "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 at more than 4,800 CVS Pharmacy locations."
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As for Walgreens, a spokesperson said that retail pharmacy chain is implementing a four-item purchase limit on-at-home COVID-19 testing products in its stores and digital properties as it works with suppliers to improve its inventory and meet customer demand.
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"As the nation experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases coinciding with the holidays, we are seeing unprecedented demand for testing services. Availability for COVID-19 testing appointments fluctuates daily, and is limited in many areas of the country leading up to the holidays," the spokesperson explained. "We anticipate appointment availability will continue to rapidly evolve and encourage customers to visit Walgreens.com/Covid19Testing to determine availability and schedule their appointment."
Walgreens added that it has been working to expand testing while minimizing turnaround times for test results. It currently anticipates turnaround times of 24 to 48 hours.
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The moves come as the Biden administration has purchased 500 million test kits which will be made available starting in January.
The kits are in addition to 50 million tests that are being distributed this month to community health centers and rural health centers, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. There are also currently 20,000 COVID-19 testing sites up and running nationwide.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, omicron has overtaken the delta variant, now accounting for 73% of cases. Over 241 million Americans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 204 million have been fully vaccinated. Over 62 million fully vaccinated U.S. adults have also received a booster dose.
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