PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One spot that has been consistently busy the past few months is your local pharmacy. Pharmacies have been overwhelmed with people lined up to get COVID shots and there is a shortage of pharmacy technicians to help the pharmacists.

Brian Mayor, the executive director of the Oregon State Pharmacy Association, told KOIN 6 News there are parts of Oregon where people have started to go to emergency rooms with medical issues because they can’t get their medications. Wait times for medications can be days, even weeks.

Inside the Brooklyn Pharmacy in Southeast Portland, January 17, 2022 (KOIN)

But some independent pharmacies — those not owned by a grocery or drugstore chain — said they have seen more customers coming in their doors. Those, like Brooklyn Pharmacy in Southeast Portland, said they can handle the influx of people.

The big request now is not a COVID shot. Instead, it’s a take-home COVID test. Those tests remain in short supply.

Pharmacies recommend getting a take-home test since the federal government is reimbursing buyers for all or part of the cost of a home COVID test. You’re urged to send in your receipts directly to your insurance company. Check with the insurers to find out how that is handled.

Most pharmacies, big and little, are too swamped right now to take care of that insurance step for you.