COVID-19 testing demand skyrockets this past week for Tonganoxie pharmacy

Downtown Drugstore, 516 E. Fourth St. in downtown Tonganoxie. Enlarge photo

January 13, 2022

Downtown Drugstore has been working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as a community testing partner for COVID-19 since the fall.

In October and early November, the pharmacy was testing about 30 people per week, according to pharmacist Sarah Breuer.

From there, the numbers doubled the two weeks after Thanksgiving and double again before Christmas.

“The days leading up to Christmas saw a lot of people testing just to be cautious before getting together with family,” Breuer said.

And then the calendar turned beyond Christmas — The Downtown Drugstore has been testing 300-400 people per week since then.

“And that is with adding limitations,” Breuer said.

The pharmacy wasn’t requiring appointments for the curbside testing, but that changed this past week.

“When temperatures dropped last week and the number of people wanting to be tested was growing and growing, we decided to go to appointments starting this week,” Breuer said.

As Breuer noted, people were waiting in lines for two hours at one point Thursday morning.

Plus, some of those test requests were coming from other communities. There were a few from Missouri and several from Shawnee, Lawrence and even Topeka, Breuer said.

She said the demand was too much for her small staff, which also was trying to fill prescriptions and administer vaccines as they normally do.

“My technicians have done an amazing job with this new responsibility of testing our community and we are happy to provide this service,” Breuer said. “Just please be patient with us as we try to accommodate all of the people who want to be tested.”

For updates on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, visit The Downtown Drugstore’s Facebook page.

As the drugstore also notes on its Facebook page, the pharmacy now has COVID testing by appointment 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday Anyone wanting a test can call the pharmacy at 913-369-3800 to schedule an appointment. Appointment times to schedule will open 24 hours before the appointment.

In addition, for testing, people should pull up curbside in the front of the pharmacy, call when you arrive and have your identification and, if vaccinated, the date of your last vaccine ready. Test results are done in 20 minutes and those taking the tests will receive a text message with a link to sign in and view results.

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