Indiana limits COVID rapid-test availability at state, local testing sites

The Indiana Department of Health on Tuesday said it was putting restrictions on the availability of rapid tests for COVID-19 at state and local health department testing sites “due to high demand and a national shortage of rapid test kits.”

Effective immediately, the department said, rapid tests at state and local health department testing sites will be available only to individuals aged 18 and younger and to symptomatic individuals aged 50 and older.

“This change is necessary due to the national shortage of rapid antigen tests and is designed to help ensure that students can stay in school and that Hoosiers who are most likely to need a monoclonal antibody are identified within the prescribed window in which they can be administered,” the health department said.

Indiana typically uses about 50,000 rapid tests per week, but is only guaranteed to receive 11,000 a week from the federal government at this time,” the department said.

The state said appointments for rapid tests previously scheduled for Tuesday only will be honored while testing supplies last. PCR tests, which are the most accurate tests, will continue to be offered at state testing sites, with results expected in two to three days.

Additionally, the health department said it would extend hours at the community testing and vaccination clinic outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 8 a.m-4 p.m. on Saturdays through Jan. 22, effective immediately. The clinic in the IndyCar parking lot at 4551 W. 16th St., across from Gate 2, will accept walk-ins only from noon to 4 p.m.

Both the two-dose Pfizer pediatric and adult vaccines and the two-dose Moderna vaccine are available at the clinic.

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