Mount Isa residents have been struggling to get their hands on a rapid antigen test with all of the town's pharmacies wiped out of stock.
All three of Mount Isa's pharmacies have confirmed they are sold out of RATs, and are not expecting stock to be replenished until mid to late January.
Pharmacist and owner of Pharmacy First, Leigh Houldsworth, said they could not keep up with the sharp spike in demand late last year when queues for PCR testing grew longer and longer.
"That happened really really quickly," she said.
"There's significant exposure and you can see that in the Queensland numbers.
"The responsibility [for testing] has kind of been put back in the hands of the public."
Ms Houldsworth said staff were still receiving phone calls around once every 15 minutes requesting the tests.
She said they are unable to give customers a definite date for when they will be back in stock.
"We can't even direct them to anywhere. The only thing we can do, particularly if they're symptomatic or think they've had contact with someone with COVID, is refer them to the PCR and drive-through testing operations," she said.
"We have made a significant investment in purchasing them for sale in Mount Isa and we're hoping they come in soon."
Ms Houldsworth said she was concerned about how people in more remote areas around Mount Isa would be able to obtain tests "from a logistical and also a financial perspective."
A statement from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, released on Monday, said the Queensland Government had obtained 18 million RATs and would be providing them for free provided free from public testing sites to people classified as close contacts.
This includes 12 million at home tests, and almost 6 million point of care tests.
At-home Rapid Antigen Tests will be provided from public test sites, free to close contacts and Covid-19 positive people who require testing under a Public Health Direction.
The tests are expected to start arriving over the coming week, with the bulk of the supply coming in late January.
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