Breaking News
More () »

The new COVID hunger games: The search for at-home tests

Now, neighbors are turning to social media for help finding them.

ARLINGTON, Va. — As COVID cases rise, it's become hunger games 2.0 -- this time for at-home rapid tests.

Now, neighbors are turning to social media to help each other find the elusive tests before heading home for the holidays.

In Arlington, for example, one person posted on a neighbor's page, asking where to find a test because they've been sold out.

Pretty quickly, they received more than 30 comments about other people's experiences. Some said they were experiencing a similar struggle. Others said they had found them online at Walmart or in local CVS branches.

WUSA9 did a quick online search Tuesday morning, and most of the rapid tests were sold out within 25 miles of D.C. at Walgreen's and online at Walmart. 

RELATED: Should you be changing holiday plans amid rising COVID cases?

Libraries throughout the DMV have started offering at-home rapid tests within the last month.

Arlington Public Library quickly ran out of its supply on Friday, Dec. 10. The library posted Monday night that they were restocking with 1,500 tests throughout their locations but warned they would also probably run out quickly.

They also do not expect a new shipment from the Virginia Department of Health until the new year.

The Arlington Public Library also put out another reminder that these rapid antigen tests are supposed to be used immediately and only when you need them. Please do not hoard them, as many did with toilet paper and wipes at the start of the pandemic.

Both the Prince George's and Fairfax County public library systems alerted the public that they also ran out of their supply of rapid tests as well.

One D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner tweeted at WUSA9's Jess Arnold on Monday, "OMG! Today I went to get a COVID-19 test and the line was at least 100+ persons long...access to rapid tests are long overdue."

Others in the Arlington group said they paid $25 for a rapid test at a private company -- Sameday Testing. That company has multiple locations across the D.C. region. Many of its locations' appointments have been booked through Thursday, however, some do have appointments available on Wednesday.

DC Health will also begin offering free rapid tests to D.C. residents Wednesday.

The District will supply eight library branches with 1000 rapid test kits a day. Residents will be able to obtain two kits, or four tests, per day, at those locations.

Residents are asked to show proof of residency when they get a kit. The District also requests that they register their results at coronavirus.dc.gov/overthecounter when they are ultimately done.

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out