Capstone temporarily halts rapid COVID-19 testing for leisure travel

Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 4:39 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Capstone Family Medicine has temporarily halted rapid COVID-19 tests for leisure travel at their test sites.

According to Mickey Boyer, Director of Development for Capstone Family Medicine, the issue stems from a shortage of rapid tests from Abbott Laboratories, from whom Capstone acquires their test kits.

“It’s important to understand that right now Abbot is having a hard time meeting the demand for rapid tests,” Boyer explained, “And so they have re-ramped up their facility they have created to create tests, and should have product available again sometime early October. But for right now, Capstone has a limited supply of rapid tests and so we are using those tests for people who are symptomatic or are needing surgeries, or have an immediate travel issue. We’re really limiting the use of those.”

But Boyer said there are still plenty of transcription mediated amplification or TMA tests available for those in need of testing. “We do have a TMA test that is able to come back within the 72 hour travel window. When people are traveling, we can actually meet their needs. We have all the testing supplies that we need for travel.

Currently, rapid tests are being reserved for those most in need of rapid COVID-19 tests according to Boyer. “We purchased a lot of Abbot test kits so we would have the ability for people just to come in and ask for a rapid test. We were doing that on a regular basis. But when the supply got truncated and we weren’t able to get what we needed to meet that demand, we then started making sure the people that absolutely had to have rapids could get them.”

Those in need of a COVID-19 test before travel are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC to receive a test within 72 hours - and Boyer indicated there are plenty of those non-rapid tests available.

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