COVID-19 Rapid Test Supply Shortage

January 11, 2022

Atlantic, Iowa – Due to a national shortage of testing supplies, Cass Health is not able to offer rapid COVID-19 testing at this time. Outpatient COVID-19 tests will be sent to a reference laboratory; results are typically available in 48 to 72 hours.

“We’ve had rapid tests on order for more than a month, but due to staffing challenges at the manufacturer, like many other hospitals, we are on emergency allocations at this point. We are hopeful that we will receive a shipment soon, and we are also awaiting a shipment of free at-home kits. We know there is high demand for tests, and we are doing our best to meet those needs,” said Patrick Sampson, Cass Health Laboratory Director.

Cass Health officials also encourage anyone who is asymptomatic, or who needs routinely tested, to seek testing supplies through local retailers or through Test Iowa. Free at-home test kits from Test Iowa are available for pick up at Cass County Public Health.

“We have seen an increase in people coming in for testing multiple times a week, or coming in for a test so that they can show their employers a negative result after having COVID-19. We would discourage the public from these practices. While we are supportive of testing, we have to also be selective in how we use our limited testing resources, which is why we would encourage those populations to use at-home kits instead. This helps us preserve rapid tests for patients who are actively ill and may need more immediate treatments,” said Sampson.

Additional information about COVID-19 testing can be found at