The short supply of rapid antigen tests [RATs] earlier this year caused a dramatic furore among the Bathurst community, but the changes to COVID-19 management are now helping consumers breathe a sigh of relief.
While new COVID-19 cases are still in the thousands state-wide, the greater availability of RATs is helping people take the required precautions when signs and symptoms arise.
Moodie's Pharmacy pharmacist and proprietor Paul Jones said the demand for RATs has dropped off in recent weeks, suggesting members of the community have enough supply to test where necessary.
"People seem to have plenty at home now and are using them where appropriate, whether they have symptoms or need to visit a hospital or nursing home," Mr Jones said.
"The complementary RAT's supplied through the Commonwealth concession card scheme and schools has also helped households maintain their stocks."
Mr Jones said the market has become flooded with RATs after initial shortages resulted in greater demand.
"Sheer volumes of tests came into the country after there was increased demand earlier in the year, and politicians announced all these programs in advance of how to adequate arrange the distribution process," he said.
"It's also worth noting that China is the largest manufacture of RATs, and the country shuts down for around two weeks in late January to celebrate the Lunar New Year, hence the lag."
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Forbutt's Pharmacy's Tin Huynh said the pharmacy has also welcomed improved supplies of RAT's.
"It's a lot better, and we don't see there being any issues with availability moving ahead," Mr Huynh said.
"Because they've become a lot easier for many households to obtain through various government schemes, it's allowed RATs to be more cost efficient for everyone else."
Residents with a Commonwealth concession card [pensioner, seniors health, health care, veterans, low income health] can access up to 10 free RAT's over a three-month period.
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