BOSTON – The communities of Quincy and Rockland were recently named as the recipients of nearly 45,000 free at-home COVID test kits from the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services. These rapid antigen tests are being distributed to 102 Massachusetts towns and cities in an effort to target individuals facing financial hardship due to the pandemic.
Of the total 44,460 tests, Quincy will be receiving 37,800 kits while Rockland will receive 6,660.
At-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits are a fast, easy and convenient way to test for COVID-19, and can be purchased in most local pharmacies or online. Distribution of test kits being supplied by EOHHS will be organized by each recipient community.
Since the pandemic began, Massachusetts has performed more COVID tests than almost any other state in the country thanks to the hundreds of existing testing locations across the Commonwealth, including 38 free state sponsored Stop the Spread testing sites. Residents can continue to access these COVID testing sites during the holidays. All testing sites are listed here: Mass.gov/gettested.
How these communities were selected:
The 102 municipalities in the Commonwealth with the highest proportion of families at or below the poverty level are receiving iHealth Labs OTC at-home rapid antigen test kits in this initial distribution of more than 2 million kits the state has secured. All twenty of the Commonwealth’s most disproportionately impacted equity communities were included by these criteria. In total, the 102 municipalities account for nearly 3.7 million Massachusetts residents.
iHealth Labs OTC at-home rapid antigen test kits are being delivered to recipient communities by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the Massachusetts National Guard. Tests will be distributed proportionally across the 102 communities based on the proportion of families living at or below the poverty level within their respective communities.
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.
The CDC recently issued guidance on self-tests like the iHealth tests, with information on when to consider self-testing, how to complete the tests, and how to react to a positive or negative result. Visit here to view the guidance.
COVID-19 rapid tests are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, that can protect individuals by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
For detailed information on testing, visit mass.gov/gettested