PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the omicron variant continues to tighten its grip on the region, many are struggling to find COVID-19 tests.
The Oregon Health Authority says they hope to bring in a total of six million tests by the end of January.
KOIN 6 News talked to Andre Rodriguez who got tested on Thursday and said he had to be patient to finally get a test.
“They actually make it really easy for you,” Rodriguez said.
He was one of many who lined up for a COVID test at a drive-thru site at the Beaverton Resource Center.
With appointments in high demand, it took awhile to get one.
“After three hours of searching, I finally found this one,” Rodriguez explained.
Even then, the appointment was days away, so he quarantined in his room.
“It was about like, a couple days waiting. So, I booked it, maybe about week ago, and then I was finally able to get a test,” Rodriguez explained. “It is very frustrating, it is, especially in a time like this. Everything is unpredictable, it’s hard.”
OHA director Patrick Allen said timely tests have been hard to come by “many people are having to wait several days for a testing appointment at a health clinic or a pharmacy.”
Allen says while it seems tests are impossible to find, Oregon’s testing volume is the highest it’s ever been.
During the first week of January, he says testing volume nearly doubled over the previous week.
Over the past seven days, the state reported more than 300,000 tests with Oregon ranking 16th in the nation in daily testing volume, according to the Kasier Family Foundation.
Allen says the tests the state has received so far have been given to high priority groups.
“We prioritized for critical state infrastructure, hospitals and schools. We sent 567,810 to 37 hospitals across the state,” Allen said.
Director Allen says shipments of more than 390,000 tests arrived Wednesday with more on the way. He also noted that the state hopes to add testing sites to high-volume vaccine sites in several counties.
“I hope everybody is able to get access to what they need when it comes to tests, when it comes to vaccines, anything because it’s a struggle for everybody,” Rodriguez said.