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Retailers limiting how many COVID-19 tests people can buy

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NEW YORK —As the omicron variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and COVID-19 cases spike ahead of Christmas, demand for at-home testing kits has risen dramatically. This has prompted Amazon, Walgreens and CVS this week to limit how many tests each customer can purchase.

Amazon said it won’t let individual shoppers buy more than 10 of its at-home PCR test kits as of Wednesday, CNBC reported. A spokesperson told CNBC that Amazon is experiencing inventory shortages of some Covid tests because of increased demand.

Amazon added that it is working to secure additional tests from its selling partners, the spokesperson said.

Walgreens and CVS said in statements Tuesday that demand for test kits had exceeded their inventories, prompting new purchase limits.

“Due to the incredible demand for at-home rapid testing, we put in effect a four item purchase limit on at-home COVID-19 testing products in our stores and digital properties in an effort to help improve inventory,” Walgreens said.

CVS issued a similar statement: “To ensure equitable access to tests both in store and digitally, we’ve added a limit of six test kits per purchase.”

CVS said that because of “a recent surge in demand, and to retain community-based access to tests in our stores, there may be temporary out-of-stocks for these products on CVS.com.”

It added: “We continue to offer access to lab-based testing with results available in 1-2 days or rapid COVID-19 testing at more than 4,800 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide.”


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