In an ideal world, the U.S. would be awash in COVID tests. Anyone exposed to COVID-19 could self-test and/or go to a lab or clinic for a test if necessary.
But right now, self-tests are in short supply in many parts of the country.
The Biden administration is pledging to distribute 500 million rapid tests "within weeks," White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday, but few other details have been announced. And test manufacturers are ramping up production, so the hope is that at some point, although no one can say exactly when, you won't be seeing those "no tests available" signs at the local pharmacy or have to wait a week or more for tests ordered online.
What's more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its testing guidelines in the wake of the omicron surge in the U.S. — and public health researchers are critical of some of the recommendations.