The Virginia Department of Health is partnering with 18 libraries across the state to provide residents free rapid COVID-19 at-home test kits, the agency said Tuesday.
According to a news release, the purpose of the pilot program — which runs through Dec. 31 — is to increase COVID-19 testing, “especially among rural, remote, under-resourced communities and other vulnerable populations.”
A VDH spokeswoman said a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant is being used to fund the program.
“We are pleased to work with public libraries to provide another testing option for our community and to increase accessibility,” Dr. Laurie Forlano, with VDH, said in the release. “Testing continues to be important to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly as we enter the holiday season when people gather.”
People can pick up the Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test from a library, follow the virtual guide at home to take the test and get digital results in 15 minutes.
The kits use a digital platform called eMed, so you’ll need a mobile device or computer to create an account to join a virtual testing session with an assistant who’ll guide you through the process. Then, eMed will report the results to the VDH.
Individuals can request a free test kit from their local library by following the library’s guidelines. Libraries were able to select how many test kits to order, VDH said.
VDH recommends that tests be used within two weeks to avoid expiration.
The full list of libraries currently participating is online and below:
- Alexandria Public Library (Alexandria Health District)
- Bedford Public Library System (Central Virginia Health District)
- Bland County Public Library (Mount Rogers Health District)
- Botetourt County Libraries (Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District)
- Central Rappahannock Regional Library (Rappahannock Health District)
- Central Virginia Regional Library (Central Virginia Health District)
- Chesterfield County Public Library (Chesterfield Health District)
- Eastern Shore Public Library (Eastern Shore Health District)
- Fluvanna County Public Library (Blue Ridge Health District)
- Highland County Public Library (Central Shenandoah Health District)
- James L. Hamner Public Library (Piedmont Health District)
- Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library (New River Health District)
- Poquoson Public Library (Hampton-Peninsula Health District)
- Roanoke Public Libraries- City of Roanoke (Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District)
- Salem Public Library (Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District)
- Smyth County Public Library (Mount Rogers Health District)
- Washington County Public Library (Mount Rogers Health District)
- Williamsburg Regional Library (Hampton-Peninsula Health District)
VDH said more libraries can opt in to the program at a later date.
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