January 12, 2022

County Providing Rapid At-home COVID-19 Test Kits at Libraries

Montgomery County residents can pick up free, rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits at 19 Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). The iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis until supplies run out. Residents can receive a maximum of two test kits per person (each containing two tests) per visit.

The tests are recommended for asymptomatic people. People showing symptoms of COVID-19 should NOT go to a library distribution site and should contact their health care provider or make an appointment for a PCR test at one of the many locations providing testing throughout the community.

There will not be distributions of testing kits on Monday, Jan. 17, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Distributions will take place at the following times and locations, while supplies last each day:

Library branches distributing kits starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, and Saturday, Jan. 15, and beginning Tuesday, Jan 18, starting at noon Monday-Saturday are:
Library branches distributing kits starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, and Saturday, Jan. 15, and beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18, starting at 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and starting at 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays are:
“Securing these tests, that are currently in great demand, will help our County mitigate community transmission from the Omicron variant surge,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We appreciate the District of Columbia assisting us and thank our procurement team for their diligence to track down and acquire these tests. We are going to make sure these tests will be given out equitably and fairly throughout the community.”

The kits being distributed at County libraries were purchased directly by the County and deliveries will be ongoing for as long as supplies last and the Omicron surge continues. So far, the County has ordered nearly two million kits and 500,000 kits have been received so far.

“Rapid home tests for COVID-19 are important public health tools to help control the transmission of the virus and are more important than ever given the current spike in cases we are experiencing in our community,” said Council President Gabe Albornoz, who also serves as chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “We encourage our residents to get tested and get boosted, while Councilmembers continue working with County Executive Elrich and our public health and emergency management teams to provide the resources needed to get our community through this latest phase of the pandemic.”

The iHealth Rapid Antigen test is an at-home test that enables a person to collect a specimen which shows whether the person has the nucleocapsid protein antigen from the virus which causes COVID-19. Test results are available in 15 minutes. Rapid test specimens are collected using a nasal swab. A swab is inserted into each nostril, one side at a time, the swab is then rotated around the inside of each nostril, to gather mucous. Detailed instructions on how to perform the self-test are included with each test kit.

More information is available on the County’s COVID-19 testing page at www.MoCoCOVIDtesting.org.