Across America, COVID-19 at-home test are increasingly difficult to find. Now, Michigan is helping to remedy that situation by distributing free at-home rapid tests to a handful of libraries across the state, including branches in major cities such as Detroit and Grand Rapids, as well as rural towns.
According to the state health department, the libraries will serve only as pick-up locations. Residents should administer their own tests at home.
For each test, the library will fill out a form including information about the person who picked up the test, such as their name, age and whether they would have bought a test kit if one wasn’t given to them for free. According to state health officials, this information will be used to help better understand the needs of the community during the current COVID-19 surge.
The library program is part of a greater effort in Michigan to make at-home COVID-19 tests more available to residents who may not be able to afford the cost of buying one or simply don’t have access to at-home tests because of where they live.
“MDHHS is interested in getting over-the-counter (OTC) tests into the hands of people that will use them and identifying the appropriate community venues that we can partner with to distribute OTC tests at no cost,” Lynn Sutfin with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement regarding the program.
She added, “Library-based OTC test distribution is a model that has worked in some other states and MDHHS quickly pursued a similar project that supplements our OTC test distribution through the Mi Backpack program and through local Community Action Agencies.”
The state recommends to call your local library branch and ask if they carry the at-home tests. If they don’t, ask about the nearest location that does carry the tests.