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Indiana limits rapid COVID tests due to supply shortage

January 4, 2022 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Health announced Tuesday it has limited who is eligible for rapid COVID-19 tests at state-run sites due to high demand and a surge of cases amid the spread of the omicron variant.

Under new state guidance, rapid antigen tests at state and local health department testing sites will only available to those 18 or younger, regardless of symptoms, or those who are 50 and older, but symptomatic.

The department said the change is necessary “due to the national shortage of rapid antigen tests.” Health officials said the new protocols will ensure students can stay in school and so residents who are most likely to need a monoclonal antibody can get it within the prescribed window.

The state uses about 50,000 rapid tests a week but is only guaranteed to receive 11,000 a week right now, according to the state health department.

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Rapid test appointments previously scheduled for Tuesday will be honored while supplies last. No appointments for rapid tests can be honored at state or local health department sites after that, except for those still eligible for tests under the new guidance. PCR tests will continue to be offered at all testing sites, with results expected in two to three days.

In addition to the guidance changes, the state plans to increase hours at several testing sites.

The community testing and vaccination clinic outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will open from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays through Jan. 22.

The clinic, which is being held in the INDYCAR parking lot, will accept walk-ins only from noon to 4 p.m.