Prince George’s Co. library system gives away rapid COVID testing kits

The Memorial Library System in Prince George’s County, Maryland, will be giving away 1,700 rapid COVID tests to anyone — including non-county residents. (WTOP/John Domen)

Libraries in Prince George’s County, Maryland, are joining the region-wide trend of handing out free, rapid COVID tests to people.

The county’s Memorial Library System said it will have as many as 1,700 free testing kits to give away each week. They’ll be available at all 17 libraries — and you don’t need to be a county resident to pick one up.

“These are the high quality Abbott BinaxNow self-tests,” library spokesman Nicholas Brown said.

Each kit contains two tests, and they retail at drug stores for a little over $20. It takes about 15 minutes for the results to show up.

“This is an opportunity to get that peace of mind or information that you need additional medical care rapidly,” Brown said.

He notes that the antigen tests being given out aren’t considered official results the way PCR tests are, and can’t be used as proof of a negative test to board international flights or for other circumstances requiring a test.

The library only asks that, if you pick up one of the tests, that you take it home before you administer it.

Likewise, “if you are symptomatic for COVID please send someone in to pick up a kit for you,” he added. “Don’t come in if you can avoid that at all costs.”

Several libraries in Virginia are part of a similar program and libraries in Anne Arundel County also offer free testing kits.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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