COVID-19

These West Valley libraries are offering free COVID test kits

Pilot program aims to make self-administered tests more accessible

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Two Maricopa County departments are partnering to make self-administered COVID-19 tests more accessible. 

Maricopa County Library District and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health are launching a pilot program to distribute free BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen tests in 18 county libraries. 

Starting Wednesday, county residents can visit participating libraries and receive a BinaxNOW kit. Customers do not need a library card, but will need to provide a ZIP code, according to a statement from the county.

Each kit includes two tests, and customers are limited to two kits per interaction. 

BinaxNOW is a self-administered nasal swab test and produces results in about 15 minutes. 

The going rate for these tests appears to be a little less than $25, which can be prohibitively expensive for some, especially for those who need to test multiple people for COVID-19. 

“We know there are many people in our community that may face challenges in purchasing an at-home test kit, or do not have easy access to testing facilities,” said MCLD Director and County Librarian Jeremy Reeder.  “We recognized this partnership as an opportunity to do what libraries do best—remove barriers to access, and to help our residents experience an improved quality of life.”

Eighteen libraries are participating in the program, and six are located in the far West Valley area. 

All library locations, with the exception of Asante, encourage guests to use the library’s curbside service. Guests should park in the designated curbside parking area and call the number listed on the sign. 

This program is the first of its kind in the county, and “will serve as a pilot, allowing (Maricopa County Department of Public Health) time to determine viability of expanding this program to other library systems in the County,” according to a statement cosigned by the department of public health and the library district. 

The department of public health has already distributed COVID-19 tests through schools, and the library program “is our next step to getting these tests out to the community more broadly,” said Marcy Flanagan, Executive Director of MCDPH. “These kinds of partnerships help us make testing available when and where people need it, and it helps connect residents to community resources they may not otherwise be familiar with.”

For more information on the program click here. To find a library location closest to you, click here to be directed to the Maricopa County Library District locations page. 

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