OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For some, searching for a COVID-19 test may feel like a concern from months ago, but health officials are still urging those with symptoms to get a test, especially with the new Delta variant. But it may not be that easy to find a test.
“Two days ago I wound up having to go to the emergency room,” said Julie Avants, who couldn’t find a test.
Avants had been feeling under the weather for a few weeks, thinking she may need a COVID-19 test.
“My plan was to, even though I’ve been vaccinated, was to get another COVID test to make sure I wasn’t having a variant strain of some sort,” Avants said.
But her search wasn’t an easy one.
Her primary care physician told her she needed a negative test before she could be seen.
So, she went to the county health department, CVS and another nearby pharmacy. All of them told her she needed to make an appointment online, something she wasn’t able to do.
“I said, ‘Well, I guess I’ll just die if I have a variant, because I can’t get into my primary, can’t get a swab to even start that process,” Avants said.
She had no place to turn to but the ER.
“It’s terrible to go to the emergency room for a sore throat or a cold because it clogs up for really critical patients,” Avants said.
And she’s not the only one recently hunting for a test.
Like Mary Eaves, who was told it would cost her $225 to get a rapid test at an urgent care center.
“If you make it so difficult to get a test, people are just gonna give up,” Eaves said. “It’s very concerning.”
We spoke with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, and officials there says they recently reopened their own testing facility.
“Because of the Delta variant, because of some other variants that are coming up, we started testing again,” said Molly Fleming with OCCHD.
OCCHD is now testing at its Southern Oaks location. Fleming says you can make an appointment online but there are options for those not able to do so.
“If you don’t have a phone or internet access, you can always call our hotline or call the Southern Oaks location to see about booking an appointment,” Fleming said.