KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Some people have said its harder to get a COVID testing appointment, especially for rapid tests for people who need to go back to work or school.
"With so much emphasis on COVID vaccinations, we haven't thought quite as much about testing," Vanderbilt University Dr. William Schaffner said.
As we head into the fall season, Dr. Scaffner said we will see a rise in flu cases. This means it's vital we have COVID tests readily available.
"I think we in medicine are going to be more attentive to testing to try to distinguish flu from COVID because we have different therapies for the two of them," Schaffner said.
One woman posted to our WBIR Facebook page with her own experience trying to get a COVID testing appointment.
She said her daughter went to CVS and Walgreens in the Sevier County area for a test, but was told there was a testing shortage.
"So yes, I think testing needs to be much more widely available," Schaffner said. "It needs to be available freely and you need to be able to get the results back very quickly."
Right now, the Knox County Health Department offers PCR testing for people who are uninsured. This isn't changing any time soon.
In a statement, the department said there are appointments available across Knoxville and the uninsured often have a harder time getting access to testing.
KHD said it's constantly assessing how to best utilize its resources and teams among contract tracing, testing and vaccinations.
Even then, appointment availability at pharmacies is spotty in Knoxville with some days' slots filling up quicker than others.
KCHD reminds people there are options and appointments available.