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COVID-19 rapid test demand making it harder to test for other illnesses

Coronavirus in Kansas

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — Local doctors are needing more testing kits but not for COVID-19. The coronavirus is creating new issues as upcoming seasons are on the way.

Xpress Wellness Urgent Care has clinics all over Kansas, including in Andover. Their clinics see hundreds of patients daily. About 60% of those need a COVID-19 rapid test, but many need other tests, such as flu and strep.

“These companies that manufacturer COVID-19 testing have shifted the majority of their focus over to producing COVID-19 tests, resulting in a shortage and difficulty for us,” said Rubi Litteral, Executive Director of Advanced Practice Providers for Xpress Wellness.

While the spotlight is on COVID-19 rapid tests, hundreds still need tests for the flu and strep.

The shortage could become a greater issue, as there are overlapping symptoms between all three illnesses.

“Sore throat, headache, cough, fever, unfortunately, can really be any of those three, and even with a careful history and physical exam, it can be difficult to reliably distinguish between those three without testing,” said Dr. David Miller, an associate medical director for Xpress Wellness.

Express Wellness Urgent Care in Andover has been working on stocking up on tests.

Walgreens is noticing a demand for at-home COVID-19 tests. As a result, the company is taking steps to keep its supply filled.

“We have put in effect purchase limits on at-home COVID-19 testing products in our stores in an effort to help improve inventory while we continue to work diligently with our supplier partners to best meet customer demands.”

Xpress Wellness Urgent Care – Andover

Xpress Wellness Urgent Care in Andover is hoping when COVID-19 case numbers decrease, manufacturers will shift their focus back to other testing equipment.

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