By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
North Attleborough will soon receive nearly 10,000 at-home COVID test kits as part of a state effort to assist those communities with the highest percentage of families below the poverty level.
In an announcement made on Dec. 13, Gov. Charlie Baker said the state has secured 2.1 million iHealth Labs over-the-counter at-home rapid antigen tests that will be delivered to 102 towns beginning this week. These free tests will be available for distribution to the public by each municipality, with an emphasis on increasing access for individuals and families who are facing financial hardship. North Attleborough will receive 9,540 kits. The City of Attleboro will receive 14,220 tests.
“With the holidays approaching, we encourage residents to utilize rapid tests as a convenient way to keep family members and friends safe at gatherings,” said Gov. Baker. “While these tests are widely available at many pharmacies and retail locations across the Commonwealth, we are making it even easier for residents to get free rapid testing through these initiatives.”
The administration is also finalizing plans to allow towns and other public entities to directly purchase tests at fixed, state-negotiated prices starting in January. More details on how to can procure these tests will be provided in the coming weeks. Municipalities are able to utilize American Rescue Plan Act funding, as well as Federal COVID-19 Relief funding to purchase the rapid antigen test kits.
Recipients of the tests are asked to prioritize those most in need, allocating equitably and at locations accessible to individuals and families who are determined to be in high need and as quickly as possible during the holiday season.
The Commonwealth is paying $5 per test. All tests come in packs of two. The tests can be completed in 15 minutes without the need to send a sample to a laboratory; a mobile phone or computer is not needed for any part of the test. Individuals 2 years of age and up can use the tests regardless of vaccination status or whether or not they have symptoms.