Some Virginia libraries offering free at-home COVID-19 test kits

If you're looking to get a rapid COVID-19 test before seeing family over the Thanksgiving holiday, you may want to hear this: some Virginia libraries are offering free at-home test kits.

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"You connect to a guide so there’s a proctor that walks you through how to open the test kit and conduct the test, swab your nose and they help you interpret the results," says Dr. Laurie Forlano with the Virginia Department of Health.

Dr. Forlano says VDH is teaming up with libraries across the state with the goal of increasing access to testing.

"We have shipped over 4,500 test kits to libraries so far this week. We’ll likely be shipping 2,000 more later this week," she says.

Dr. Forlano says because of the demand for at-home COVID-19 tests in recent months and supply chain issues, the kits were hard to find.

READ MORE: DMV hospitals starting to allow families to visit COVID-19 patients

Now, that's easing up some she says, but there's still a need for some to have easier access to the kits.

"Especially for those people who struggle with other challenges like transportation or being able to get long distances," says Dr. Forlano.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, she says getting tested is something you'll definitely want to consider.

"If you’re going to be around people who may be more vulnerable, definitely think about testing either before the gathering or after the gathering," Dr. Forlano says.

Officials say the program will last until the end of December. There are four locations locally where you can pick up tests: the Beatley, Barrett, Burke and Duncan branches. The rest are listed here.


Officials also remind people who want a test to stay home if they're sick and have someone else pick up the test at the library for them.