MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Residents in Montgomery County will soon be able to pick up an at-home rapid COVID-19 test kit from a county library.
According to a release from Montgomery County officials, the test kits will be available at several libraries starting Jan. 10. The iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test kits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until testing supplies run out.
Officials say that residents can pick up two kits per person, per visit. Each kit contains two tests. The kits are recommended for people who are asymptomatic, according to the release from the county.
"People showing symptoms of COVID-19 should NOT go to a library distribution site and should contact their health provider or make an appointment for a PCR test at one of the many locations providing testing throughout the county," officials said.
Libraries where kits will be available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday:
Libraries where kits will be available for pickup from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday:
Officials realize test kits are in great demand. County Executive Marc Elrich said DC helped Montgomery County track down and acquire the kits. County officials hope these distribution sites will help mitigate community transmission from the omicron variant surge.
"We are going to make sure these tests will be given out equitably and fairly throughout the community," Elrich said.
So far, the county has ordered 2 million test kits and has received 500,000.
In neighboring Prince George's County, testing has been challenging for some. Reese Richardson was told he had to wait when he went to get a test at the Bunker Hill Fire and Rescue testing site.
“It's just due to the limited number of tests being fair. They said I got to wait for at least 10 days to be able to get retested here,” Richardson said.
He tested positive nearly two weeks ago. Initially, he thought he didn't have COVID-19.
“I was a little achy. So, first, I just blew it off with the cold and damp weather we were having. I'm 72 years old, so being achy when it's cold, damp outside is not unusual,” he said.
But he needs a negative test to return to work. He said he’ll come back in a few days.
“10 days, I think that's fair because facilities are limited and you've got to take care of everybody,” he added.
The iHealth Rapid Antigen that will be available for pickup uses a swab inserted into each nostril, one side at a time, and rotated around the inside to gather mucus. Each kit includes instructions on the best way to perform the self-test.
More information is available on the county’s COVID-19 testing page.
With 4,000 COVID-19 cases reported across MCPS in the last five days of winter break, the county outlined a new three-tiered system to monitor cases by school.