A new program launched by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in November allows participating libraries to provide COVID-19 rapid antigen at-home test kits at no cost. Tests can then be completed at home with digital results in 15 minutes. The program is designed to increase access to COVID-19 testing, especially among rural, remote, under-resourced communities, and other vulnerable populations. Since launch of the program, 45 libraries have enrolled and distributed more than 34,000 test kits.
The at-home test kit uses the eMed digital platform. Users will need a mobile device or computer to create an account and to join a virtual testing session with an eMed assistant who guides users through the testing process. Once the test has been completed, the user will receive a test result within 15 minutes, and eMed will report the results to VDH.
VDH recommends that tests be used within two weeks to avoid expiration. If feeling ill, citizens can call the library about contactless pick-up options or send someone to pick up the test kit for them.
The library program webpage provides a listing of participating libraries. VDH recommends local governments encourage their libraries to participate. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.