Rapid at-home COVID-19 tests are flying off the shelves at local pharmacies.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)-- Testing sites across western Mass. were seeing long lines over the last two weeks.

However, not so much anymore, and now at-home testing kits are flying off the shelves.

Right around the holidays, people were waiting hours in line at the Eastfield Mall COVID-19 testing site, a very different image on Tuesday morning, with some testing booths having no line at all.

American Medical Response operations manager Patrick Leonardo told Western Mass News he predicted there are multiple reasons the lines have died down.

"I think that post-holiday, after Christmas and the new year, and all the gatherings, coinciding with the peak of what we believe omicron brought into the community, and across the state, I think it was the perfect storm," said Leonardo.

"Leonardo said they've expanded their testing site so they're still able to administer thousands of tests a day, without the long lines," said Leonardo.

A week and a half ago, they peaked at 3,600 tests given in one day. On Wednesday:

"We did just under two thousand tests yesterday," said Leonardo.

Leonardo said Governor Charlie Baker's announcement on Tuesday might have had an effect on the long lines for a PCR test. Baker urged people that rapid tests were just as reliable as PCR tests, but some people are still choosing to be cautious.

"We had a negative home test this morning, but a nurse friend of ours highly recommended that we still get the PCR test," said Denise Sitler, a Westfield resident.

Meanwhile, rapid at-home COVID-19 tests are flying off the shelves at local pharmacies.

"As soon as we get them in, people are coming in a couple times a day. usually, they're gone within a day or two," said Tobias Billups, owner of Springfield Pharmacy.

For Billups, owner of Springfield Pharmacy, he said it's hard to get his hands on the tests.

"We have been trying to get them in. they come in sporadically. It's not an easy thing to get a hold of but we try everyday to get more…We usually try to keep a minimum of 10 in stock," explained Billupd

Since Governor Baker's announcement, he's seen an increase of customers looking to purchase a test.

"Recently people are looking for at home tests much more than they did in the past," said Billups.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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