The rampant spread of omicron was not a welcome addition to the long-awaited holiday season. Nations worldwide are reaching record new daily cases, and tests are becoming incredibly difficult to find. With the surge in cases, governments and pharmacies are attempting to make at-home Covid testing kits available. Here’s what you need to know about them as they enter the realm of the pandemic. 

COVID-19 at-home diagnostic testing lets many parts of the testing process take place at home. An array of options exist, including ones that collect nasal or saliva samples. There are also tests available that generate results within minutes. 

Many of the at-home testing companies have struggled to keep up with demand, however, CNBC reports. As businesses make preparations for the vaccine and testing mandates that Biden plans to set in place, companies are experiencing what is being described as a “tsunami of demand”, as shipments of hundreds of tests are selling out in hours. 

On top of the ridiculous demand, there are also reports of fraudulent at-home testing kits making their way to consumers. 

CNBC reports that scammers are taking advantage of the short supply, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which released an alert on Tuesday about pirated kits being sold to customers online. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office said that “With more and more people seeking tests, scammers may be exploiting this demand to steal personal, financial or medical information…there are recent reports in Florida and nationwide of potential fake COVID-19 testing sites, imposter health care workers at legitimate sites and at-home testing scams,” as reported by the New York Daily News

The White House, in collaboration with the United States Postal Service, plans to distribute 500 million free coronavirus rapid at-home test kits to homes all over the country.