Fairfax County Public Library offered at-home COVID-19 test kits to the community for the first time this morning (Friday). An hour later, they were all gone.
The county announced on Monday (Nov. 29) that it would join a pilot program that the Virginia Department of Health launched last month to distribute free COVID-19 tests through participating public libraries.
FCPL received 2,300 BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test that were made available at its 13 open community branches and eight regional libraries when they opened at 10 a.m. today.
All of the kits were distributed within the first hour, according to FCPL spokesperson Erin Julius, who says demand was high at all branches.
“The high demand for these test kits this morning indicates a continued need for accessible COVID-19 testing kits in Fairfax County, and FCPL is pleased to help distribute them,” FCPL Director Jessica Hudson said. “Libraries are trusted community hubs and we are glad to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community by making testing kits more accessible. We will continue to distribute tests as more are made available to us.”
Julius said the state is sending more test kits that will arrive next week, but she advises residents to call their local branch to ensure their availability before visiting. The library system also asks that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms request a kit using its contactless curbside pickup service.
VDH says the number of test kits distributed to participating localities depends on the size of each library system and feedback about how much interest they expect in the program, along with the general availability of supplies.
“The uptake varies,” VDH spokesperson Cheryl Rodriguez said. “However, some library systems are reporting that distribution has been brisk.”
According to VDH data, COVID-19 testing has been trending upwards in the Fairfax Health District since early November, with a spike seen in the days leading up to Thanksgiving (Nov. 25).
Fairfax County joined the state’s library test kits pilot slightly later than the other participating localities, but the move comes amid rising COVID-19 cases and renewed anxiety over the new omicron variant, which was confirmed in the U.S. for the first time on Wednesday (Dec. 1).
The Fairfax County Health Department said there has been increased demand for testing throughout Virginia recently, and offering free test kits at libraries gives people an alternative when retail supplies have been low.
Rapid COVID-19 tests have been in short supply since this summer after declining testing rates led manufacturers to decrease production. As infections surged again due to the delta variant, the federal government committed over $560 million to help boost the country’s supply.
“During the late summer months and early fall, many states across the country experienced limited access to rapid testing kits, due in part to slower production,” Rodriguez said. “However, production is increasing and more rapid tests should become available.”
Photo via Jernej Furman/Flickr
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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.
Similar to FEMA’s