BOSTON (CBS) - Getting your hands on rapid tests for COVID-19 has become a crazy game of running from store-to-store and constantly checking websites.
Those lucky enough to stumble onto a store fully stocked with tests often post about their treasure on community Facebook pages and friend text chains. As a result, supplies are sold out within hours or even minutes.
But if you want to order online, a Chicago area teenager has taken all of the guesswork out of it. Fourteen-Year-old Eli Coustan is the brains behind Findacovidtest.org. It is a website that tracks sales of all the major at-home antigen tests.
It monitors stores like Walgreens, CVS, Sam's Club and Target as well as manufacturers who are selling directly to consumers. Tests you can look for include BinaxNow, On/Go IHealthLabs, FlowFlex and even a PCR test offered by Amazon.
Eli tells us he got the idea when he and his family were planning a recent get together with relatives.
"We wanted to be extra careful," he told WBZ-TV.
But when they couldn't find a test, Eli decided to put his computer skills to work.
"I coded a computer program that is running every five to ten minutes that is going to Amazon, CVS, Walgreens and it checks to see if there is an 'add to cart' button, signaling the item is in stock," he explained.
This isn't Eli's first effort to help people during the pandemic. When vaccines were in short supply, he created ILVACCINE.ORG to help people find available appointments for vaccination.
"I was able to apply a lot of the same techniques to create Findacovidtest.org."
Eli tells us he's seeing thousands of visits to the site every day. The vaccine website had 450,000 visitors earlier this year.
Eli says he hopes to study computer programming in college, but he wants to use that knowledge to help people.
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