Maryland will make an additional 500,000 home COVID-19 test kits available to residents as part of a new statewide initiative.
Abbott BinaxNOW Ag’s COVID-19 home test kits have started arriving in the state, Governor Larry Hogan said on Wednesday. The Maryland Department of Health distributes them to local health departments for placement in designated locations where they will be distributed free of charge.
The distribution comes as coronavirus cases increase in the middle of the holiday season. Earlier this month, Maryland was reporting 11.83 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 population, according to health department data. This rate rose to 15.74 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday.
“Testing continues to be one of the most important tools we have for keeping people safe, and we have now performed nearly 15 million tests statewide,” Hogan said. “By making these home test kits available through local health departments, we are giving Marylanders more options and more peace of mind as the holiday season approaches. Of course, the most important thing you can do, if you haven’t done so already, is get the shot or get the shot.
Residents can take tests at home while supplies last at their local public library or at two community pantries, Aaron’s Place and Giving Grace in Caroline County. In Prince George County, federally qualified public libraries and local health centers will also distribute test kits.
The home test kits contain two COVID-19 tests that are approved for use by one person. Tests should be used at least 36 hours apart, but within three days of each other. Tests are self-administered and results are available within 15 minutes.
Those who test positive for COVID-19 should consider themselves contagious, alert their contacts and seek further medical advice, which could lead to further testing. It is recommended that individuals report their test results, whether positive or negative. People who test negative should confirm the result by performing a second test in the kit at least 36 hours after the first test.
Anyone can report results for themselves using the Abbott NAVICA app, website, or by calling 1-855-634-6829.
Laboratory PCR tests are still widely available statewide. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov to find a test site. To find a vaccination clinic, visit covidvax.maryland.gov.