COVID tests tough to find as people prepare for safe holiday gatherings

BRAINTREE, Mass. — COVID-19 rapid tests were quickly flying off the shelves the day before Thanksgiving. People flocked to buy the tests to make sure guests were COVID-free before feasting on turkey with relatives.

“I live in Whitman and none of the pharmacies there had any available,” said one Whitman woman who declined to tell us her name.

“Everywhere where I went people said no, no, no, then I started calling and I heard no, no, no,” she said.

But finally, 10 miles away at a Braintree CVS on Washington Street, she finally heard a yes. And that is allowing her to secure a worry-free turkey day.

>>>MORE: Logan Airport, Massport dealing with largest travel numbers in last 2 years

“And there’s no Thanksgiving dinner without one I’m told,” she said.

Across town at a Walgreens, we ran into a man who’d been searching all day. "

Yeah, I’ve been to quite a few places. My in-laws live in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I went to four stores there and I came out here,” said Safwan Eide, who is from Quincy.

And to be certain they were there when he arrived, he bought them online to secure them. All together he bought four rapid tests that run about $25.00 each to put relatives at ease.

“There are a few people in our family who are immune-compromised, so we want to let them know that we care about them and we’re willing to go through some extra measures to show that,” Eide said.

That was the sentiment of many who were searching for the rapid tests. Because people whose health is fragile and may attend gatherings with young children, many took the extra step to be safe. Children under the age of 5 still can’t get vaccinated.

We did find another CVS on Grove Street in Braintree that had a small stockpile of COVID tests behind the register. But other locations were running out quickly.

A second woman who declined to share her name did tell us she came to the CVS on Washington Street in Braintree to get a test for her son.

>>>MORE: Hundreds volunteer in packaging 6,500 medically tailored meals and Thanksgiving dinners

“We’re going to a Thanksgiving dinner and my son’s got a head cold. And there’s going to be babies. So better safe than sorry,” she said.

And she also lucked out getting there just in time before they sold out.

“There’s only two, [and I] got the last two,” she said.

Download the free Boston 25 News app for up-to-the-minute push alerts

>> Complete Covid-19 vaccine coverage


- Complete local and national coronavirus coverage here

- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter | Watch Boston 25 NOW

- Download our free apps for your phone and smart TV