Walmart, Kroger Jack Up Prices on Rapid COVID Tests: Report

by Amanda Glover
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As the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country, demands for rapid at-home COVID tests increase. The nation’s two largest grocery stores upped their prices on on-demand rapid COVID tests.

This happened after a 100-day agreement with the White House to sell it at cost expired. Walmart increased the price of BinaxNOW’s antigen self-test kits to $20. Kroger sold them for $24 in nearly 3,000 grocery stores across the US.

The large price increase followed the lapse of the Biden administration’s deal with manufacturer Abbott Laboratories to provide the tests for $14.

A Walmart spokesperson discussed the events. “The program ended in mid-December, and while other retailers increased prices in mid-December, Walmart held the $14.00 through the holidays before increasing the price.”

Yesterday night, the BinaxNOW test went out of stock on Walmart’s website. Purchase limits for COVID tests are now in place due to high demand.

After claiming his office was blindsided by an “almost overnight” surge, President Joe Biden outlined a plan to mail 500 million free tests. This happened a few days before Christmas last year. The deal with manufacturers is currently being worked on.

When Biden was asked about the progress of the plan, he advised Americans to Google where to find at-home tests. He also said they will be covered by medical insurers by this upcoming week.

On Tuesday, the FDA announced that COVID-19 antigen tests might be less effective at discovering Omicron than earlier strains of the virus.

Celebrities That Recently Tested Positive for COVID

As the Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc across the nation, celebrities are testing positive. At the end of December, actor Hugh Jackman posted a video to his Twitter announcing his unfortunate diagnosis. His post read: “Just wanted you to hear it from me. I tested positive for COVID. Mild symptoms and as soon as I’m cleared … looking forward to getting back to The Winter Garden.” Thankfully, The Greatest Showman actor’s symptoms read more like a mild cold.

NCIS: Los Angeles star, LL Cool J, had to cancel his New Year’s Eve performance after testing positive. He stated his positive test. “I know it’s disappointing to the millions of fans, but my test came back positive for COVID, which means I’ll no longer be able to perform as scheduled at NYRE. We were ready and I was really looking forward to ringing in 2022 in my hometown in a special way, but for now, I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!”

The talk show, The View, also hasn’t been safe from a positive diagnosis. The talk show is back to remote production after Whoopi Goldberg tested positive. Also, longtime co-host, Sara Haines, has been absent from the show since Goldberg’s diagnosis. After comedian Joy Behar’s announcement yesterday, fans learn that Haines was “in close contact.”

“It’s like Agatha Christie,” Behar says referring to the drop in hosts. “And then there were three.”

Outsider.com