MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - COVID-19 rapid tests are incredibly convenient, offering results in 20 to 45 minutes. However, it turns out those tests are difficult to find in the mid-south.
“There is a supply mismatch. Obviously the demand is very high, but the supply for all the testing material is limited,” Shannon Finks said.
She and her husband own ZupMed, a concierge medicine practice located in the Laurelwood shopping center in East Memphis.
COVID-19 related services and questions make up 50% of their business, but they recently had to stop offering Rapid COVID-19 tests.
“Right now we have COVID rapid testing machines, but we do not have the cartridges and there is a shortage right now in rapid testing cartridges,” Finks said.
She’s hoping to get her shipment of cartridges any day now, but in the meantime, if you need a rapid test you don’t have many options.
We called several medical facilities.
RedMed Urgent care clinic which has 9 locations in the Mid-South, primarily in north Mississippi, offers Rapid COVID-19 tests to anyone with or without symptoms.
RedMed does take insurance and people who have to pay the urgent care co-pay.
WMC’s Kelli Cook also found one Walgreens in the 3500 block of Summer Avenue that offers the rapid test as well.
It’s listed as offering the service on the company’s website, but when I tried to call to confirm, the number was disconnected.
There is an online survey that must be completed first.
You can find that link here: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing
However, the vast majority of places I called did not offer rapid tests.
All CVS locations, Baptist Memorial and Methodist Hospitals and Clinics, Med Post, Kroger and Fast Pace Health Urgent Care.
However Finks says rapid tests aren’t for everyone.
“If you are lucky enough to find a rapid test available remember that information can be wrong especially if you’re asymptomatic or have a low viral load,” Finks said.
She says the traditional PCR nasal swab test that is sent off to a lab that may take 24 to 48 hours for results is more reliable.
In fact, Finks offers a follow-up PCR test after a rapid test just to be sure.
Every medical facility I called does offer PCR tests including MedZub.
Krogers says they hope to offer Rapid Antibody testing in the Mid-South soon.