Coronavirus tests are “nearly impossible” to find in the San Francisco Bay Area, thanks to a surge in demand, a labor shortage, and the failure of the Biden administration to plan ahead for a potential winter surge in COVID-19 cases.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
As the omicron surge worsens, pushing COVID-19 numbers across California to record highs, many frustrated Bay Area residents are unable to access coronavirus tests, either over-the-counter kits or more rigorous lab versions — a problem that has persisted since before the holidays.
Appointments at testing sites through county or private health providers, if they’re available at all, are booked out for weeks. Lines wrap around the block. Rapid home tests sold at drugstores such as CVS and Walgreens, which are typically limited to no more than four per customer, are usually out of stock, selling as quickly as they come in.
It’s a problem all over the country. From local health departments to the White House, officials say they’re doing everything they can to meet surging test demand amid the omicron surge. But nobody can say when the problem may be solved.
County health officials cited worker shortfalls as one reason for bottlenecks. “We have ample testing materials,” the Santa Clara County health department said in a statement. “Our main hurdles are staffing and lab capacity — more personnel are needed to administer additional tests and to process in the laboratories across the country.” Santa Clara said it has shifted personnel from other duties to bolster testing, but can’t muster “unlimited resources or unlimited laboratory capacity, given the national surge in testing demand.”
Last week, President Joe Biden admitted that his administration had failed to provide enough testing materials, despite the fact that he ran in 2020 on a promise to provide testing, something he alleged the Trump administration had failed to do.
The administration has promised to deliver 500 million tests by the end of January, but is scrambling to sign the contracts. In the meantime, critics allege that government purchases of testing kits are cornering the market, making tests harder to find.
The Chronicle notes that no one knows when the shortage will end in the Bay Area — as the coronavirus surge continues.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.