Because of a lack of access to same day rapid of PRC COVID-19 tests, the Tippecanoe County Health Department has applied to the state to become an official testing site.
Testing sites across Greater Lafayette are facing higher demand than usual with the rise in COVID cases, due to the delta variant and less mask wearing, Public Health Administrator Khala Hochstedler said.
Hochstedler said that the hope for the TCHD testing site is to reduce the barrier to getting tested, but that even if they opened the site tomorrow, it wouldn't eliminate the barrier altogether.
Online searches showed no available testing appointments for the CVS or Walgreens locations in the area through the weekend.
The CVS on Sagamore Pkwy doesn't have any openings for the next two weeks, according to its scheduling website. On Friday night, the closest Walgreens with an appointment on Saturday was almost 30 miles away in Monticello.
"We're seeing a surge we haven't seen all year," Hochstedler said. "It's spreading like wildfire."
An employee at the Walgreens on Sagamore Pkwy said they are short-staffed.
There is only one pharmacist on hand at a time, and that pharmacist is the only employee administering vaccines in addition to working behind the counter, she said. The pharmacist is the only employee that is authorized to give statements to the media, so the Exponent hasn't been able to get more detail.
In June or July, people could have gotten a test on the same day, Hochstedler said, but the rise in cases means more people are getting tested.
The state-run Optum testing site was shut in May or June, so there is even less capacity for testing than earlier in the year, also contributing to the problem, she said.
Hochstedler's advice is to be patient and schedule your test in advance.