Sep 2, 2021 - COVID

Demand for rapid COVID-19 tests rises in Des Moines metro

Rising demand for rapid COVID testing
Data: The Iowa Clinic; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

More Des Moines residents are trying to find rapid COVID-19 tests — sometimes without success.

  • On social media, residents have reported struggling to find rapid tests or waiting hours to get one done at a pharmacy in town.
  • While medical clinics may have them available, they're often more costly and require a co-pay for a doctor's visit.

Context: COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Iowa. The state saw new daily reported cases rise more than 10% over the last week, per The Washington Post.

John Forbes, owner of Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale, said in the last month, he's seen a rise in demand for rapid COVID tests, which get patients results quicker than PCR testing.

  • Forbes, who's also a Democratic state representative, said he's received a dozen calls inquiring about them.
  • People are willing to spend $100 or more to get a test, so they don't need to wait several days for PCR results, he said. Forbes' pharmacy is now offering the tests.

The Iowa Clinic, which offers rapid and PCR tests at its urgent care clinics, have also seen a recent rise in both tests.

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