Nashville pediatricians report COVID-19 rapid test shortage | News

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — With kids going back to school and the Delta variant on the rise, pediatricians in our area say they’re being inundated with patients needing COVID testing. dr. Jim Keffer, a pediatrician in Nashville, says he doesn’t have the staff to meet demand, nor enough COVID-19 rapid tests.

dr. Keffer says at the 10-person pediatric group where he works; they went from seeing zero children testing positive for COVID-19 to four testing positive in one day.

He says the most widely used rapid molecular COVID-19 test, ID Now, is running out. “I could have used our entire stash by 2pm,” says Dr. yapper. “And so hospitals, clinics, emergency departments, emergency care all have to go back to the broadcast testing that we did in early 2020.”

dr. Keffer says these older tests only take one extra day to get results. But as more people request the test, it will add more days, a bigger gap, of people not going to work or school while waiting for their results.

“Until about two weeks ago, we could do as many rapid tests as we wanted,” explains Dr. Yaff out. “But you could only make so much of everything.”

“Places like Walgreen and CVS, all those appointments are booked,” said District 19 Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell.

O’Connell says they’ve talked to three to four pediatricians in the same battle this week. That’s why he’s pushing for the return of COVID testing sites like the one at Nissan Stadium.

If you need a COVID-19 vaccine or test, there are two different drive-thru options today. Our team will have both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available. You can find a full list of locations at

— NashvilleHealth (@NashvilleHealth) August 20, 2021

“My hope is that we go back to a world where we have drive-thru locations and no appointment and stuff like that,” says O’Connell.

dr. Keffer says they will only use the rapid COVID tests for emergencies — for their sickest patients and their own staff. He knows his patients can get a test elsewhere, but understands why they come to him.

“Our patient population likes to be seen and they like to hear our thoughts on things,” says Dr. yapper. Although Dr. Keffer says people can get a COVID-19 test at their local pharmacy, it’s usually an antigen test and not a molecular test. He says those are more likely to come back with a false positive or false negative.

A drive-thru test site has opened on Charlotte Pike. Metro Nashville Public Health Department says they still have their location open on Murfreesboro Pike. They plan to add an additional tent and two additional lanes to relieve traffic there.

Office of Emergency Management says they are evaluating the best location and COVID-19 situation if they need to open another site. is now on the road with you! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigation reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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