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Rapid COVID-19 Tests Increasingly Scarce

Expense growing as demand from employers jumps

Surging demand for COVID-19 tests from U.S. employers has exacerbated a nationwide shortage of rapid tests in recent weeks and is driving up costs for state and local testing programs, according to industry executives and state officials.

Testmakers including Abbott Laboratories, Quidel Corp. and LumiraDX Ltd. are scaling up production to meet rising demand. But significantly boosting test output will take weeks to months, half a dozen industry executives told Reuters, making the tests harder to procure in the near term.

"Employer demand has gone crazy," said Quidel Chief Executive Doug Bryant. "We won't be able to meet all the requests that we're having."

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