Fairfax Co. libraries to get more COVID-19 test kits after quickly running out last week

The Fairfax County, Virginia, libraries participating in a statewide program to make rapid, at-home coronavirus tests more accessible have received a new shipment of BinaxNOW test kits after quickly running out last week.

The pilot program, launched in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, offered free test kits at 21 public libraries across the county starting last Friday. Jessica Hudson, director of the county’s public library system, said all 2,300 kits initially available were distributed within the first hour of branches opening last week.

The county has received 10,000 more tests from the state, which are now available at 13 open community branches and eight regional branches.

The 10,000 tests “sounds like a lot, but we have more than a million people in Fairfax, so we need to save them for those who need them most,” Hudson said in an emailed statement.

The tests that arrived Wednesday expire at the end of the month, so they cannot be saved for future use, Hudson said.

Fairfax is one of several D.C.-area jurisdictions making the rapid tests available to help curb community spread. The county reports 115.64 cases per 100,000 people, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, which categorizes that figure as high community transmission.

The county expects a shipment of 20,000 tests to arrive next week, “but after that we’re expecting smaller deliveries, so we want to emphasize that these are for those who need them right now,” Hudson said.

Anyone interested in picking up a test from a library branch should call to ensure there are kits availably, Hudson said. A contactless curbside pickup service is available for anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Test results are available in 15 minutes.

More information about the library system’s pilot program is available online.

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