Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the state health department will distribute a half-million free rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits throughout the holiday season and winter months in an attempt to stay ahead of any surge in coronavirus cases.

The state will allocate the Abbott BinaxNOW Ag At-Home COVID-19 test kits to local health departments, which will, in turn, distribute the tests to residents at such locations as public libraries and community food pantries.

“Testing continues to be one of the most important tools we have to keep people safe, and we have now conducted nearly 15 million tests statewide,” Hogan said. “By making these at-home test kits available through local health departments, we are giving Marylanders more options and more peace of mind as we head into the holiday season. Of course, the single most important thing you can do, if you haven’t already, is get vaccinated or get your booster shot.”

Each kit contains two tests for one individual, to be taken at least 36 hours apart and within three days of each other. Both tests should be taken, even if the first result is negative

The results for the self-administered tests are available in 15 minutes.

Anyone who gets a positive result on either test should alert all close contacts and seek medical advice to confirm the result. The state encourages those who take the tests to self-report the results, both positive and negative, to either the Abbott NAVICA app or website or by calling 833-637-1594.

“Getting vaccinated and tested remain the two most important actions that Marylanders can take to keep themselves and their loved ones protected against COVID-19,” said Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We are committed to accessible, free COVID-19 testing across the state, and these at-home tests kits will augment other state-supported testing initiatives.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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