Virginia Department of Health partners with libraries to provide free at-home COVID-19 antigen test kits

At home covid test
Posted at 8:27 PM, Nov 16, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. - Want to test yourself for COVID-19 at home? You can now get a kit at your local library.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Tuesday its partnership with 18 libraries and library systems across the Commonwealth to distribute COVID-19 rapid antigen at-home test kits at no cost.

The pilot program begins this week and will run through Friday, Dec. 31. Additional libraries may opt into the program at a later date.

People can pick up a virtually-guided Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test from the library, use it in the privacy of their home and receive digital test results in 15 minutes. The program is designed to increase access to COVID-19 testing, especially among rural, remote, under-resourced communities and other vulnerable populations.

“We are pleased to work with public libraries to provide another testing option for our community and to increase accessibility,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, DO MPH, deputy director, Office of Epidemiology. “Testing continues to be important to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly as we enter the holiday season when people gather.”

The at-home test kit uses the eMed digital platform. Users will need a mobile device or computer to create an account and to join a virtual testing session with an eMed assistant who guides users through the testing process. Once the test has been completed, the user will receive a test result within 15 minutes, and eMed will report the results to VDH.

People can request a free test kit from their local library by following the library’s guidelines. VDH recommends that tests be used within two weeks to avoid expiration.

If you are feeling ill, call your library about contactless pick-up options or send someone to pick up the test kit for you.

Related: As testing demands grow in Hampton Roads, people turn to at-home tests

For more information, please visit the library program webpage or email Other testing sites/options can be found on the VDH testing locator page.

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