Feb. 24, 2021 — The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has purchased two million at-home COVID-19 testing kits that provide reliable results in minutes. Gov. DeWine’s goal is to make these rapid testing kits available and accessible in every Ohio county and Ohio’s public libraries can play a critical role.
Today, the OLC hosted a webinar with Mark Hamlin and Ben Anderson from Governor DeWine’s Testing Team. They explained how your library can help distribute the free COVID-19 testing kits to patrons. The session included information on how libraries in Crawford County have partnered with their health district to offer this simple service. Providing testing kits at your library is completely voluntary.
Testing alone is not going to end the pandemic, but public libraries can help make the kits easily accessible to their communities and fight COVID-19.
- View a recording of this webinar. [Run time: 65 minutes]
- PowerPoint Slide Deck (PDF, 6 pages)
- Background Information and FAQ on the COVID-19 testing kits (PDF, 4 pages)
- Administrator’s/Distributor’s Guide (PDF, 3 pages)
- How eMed Works (2 minute video)
- Bucyrus Public Library Example (PDF, 5 pages)
- ODH map of library locations with testing kits as of 4.20.21 (PDF)
- Searchable ODH map of public libraries with at-home COVID-19 testing kits
Important facts about the program:
- This is a voluntary program and the state is NOT requiring public libraries to distribute the At-Home COVID-19 Testing Kits.
- The OLC did NOT issue a press release to the media announcing the voluntary program. (However, individual libraries are issuing their own press releases about the program to local media)
- As of 9/7/21, more than 160 public library systems are distributing the At-Home COVID-19 Testing Kits. Most public libraries are offering them through contactless curbside pick-up or drive-through.
- Public library staff are NOT being asked to administer the At-Home COVID-19 Tests in the library and they SHOULD NOT be administering the tests in the library. The library is not a clinical setting.
- All public libraries should already have signage posted discouraging patrons with COVID-19 symptoms from entering the library – regardless of participation in the program.
- The At-Home COVID-19 Testing Kits and the companion telehealth eMed session are FREE to library patrons – there is no cost or charge to patrons or the library.