ANNAPOLIS — Governor Larry Hogan on Nov. 24 announced that the Maryland Department of Health will make 500,000 Abbott BinaxNOW Ag At-Home COVID-19 test kits available through a new program being launched statewide.
The at-home test kits have begun to arrive in the state, and MDH is distributing them to local health departments to make available free of charge at designated locations in their jurisdictions. Distribution of the kits will increase public access to convenient COVID-19 tests ahead of the holiday season and throughout winter, and in coming weeks local health departments will make announcements regarding the availability of testing kits.
“Testing continues to be one of the most important tools we have to keep people safe, and we have now conducted nearly 15 million tests statewide,” said Gov. Hogan. “By making these at-home test kits available through local health departments, we are giving Marylanders more options and more peace of mind as we head into the holiday season. Of course, the single most important thing you can do, if you haven’t already, is get vaccinated or get your booster shot.”
In Caroline County, for example, residents can obtain at-home tests while supplies last at their local public library or at two community food pantries, Aaron’s Place and Giving Grace. In Prince George’s County, public libraries, local federally qualified health centers and other partner locations will serve as distribution points for the test kits.
Each kit contains two COVID-19 tests that are approved to be used by one person, and the tests are to be used at least 36 hours apart and within three days of each other. The tests are self-administered, and results are available in 15 minutes.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should consider themselves infectious, notify their contacts, and seek further medical advice, which may include additional testing. Individuals are encouraged to report their test results, both positive and negative, to help Maryland slow the spread of COVID-19. Those who test negative should confirm the result by using the second test in the kit to test again at least 36 hours after the first test. Anyone can self-report results using the Abbott NAVICA app, website or by calling 1-855-634-6829.