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It's still hard to find rapid COVID test kits at Ohio's libraries

 "No COVID TESTS" sign in parking lot of Powell Library
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
A sign in the parking lot of a Powell library reads: "NO COVID TESTS." Libraries throughout the state gave out more than half a million tests in December but that supply has run out.

Ohio continues to see some of the highest COVID case rates during this pandemic. Most of Ohio’s libraries have been without COVID tests since before Christmas, as those test kits have been in short supply.

The Ohio Library Council’s Michelle Francis says she’s unsure when libraries will get more of the at-home rapid COVID test kits.

“We continue to have conversations with the Ohio Department of Health. It’s a work in progress, but I don’t have any updates at this time,” Francis said.

Francis says Ohio’s libraries handed out more than 583,000 test kits between Dec. 1 and 23. Since that time, test kits have been hard to come by. There are mass testing sites with PCR tests administered by medical professionals, and Gov. Mike DeWine says there will be more of those in the future.

The federal government is ramping up efforts to make 500 million rapid tests available nationwide later this month, free of charge. In the meantime, Ohioans who need a COVID test and can't find one might be able to get a PCR test through pharmacies, medical clinics, health departments, and doctors' offices. But hospitals are telling people looking for tests to stay away from overcrowded emergency rooms unless they have symptoms that need immediate attention.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.