Ohio’s Public Libraries Distribute 2.24 Million Covid Testing Kits

photo of staff passing out kits in snow

Cleveland Public Library staff brave the elements to distribute testing kits to the community.

January 12, 2022 — Fueled by the pervasiveness of the delta and omicron variants, Ohio’s public libraries have seen a dramatic surge in the number of people requesting rapid, at-home COVID testing kits.

Since this partnership with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) began in March 2021, Ohio’s public libraries have distributed more than 2.24 million tests (338,694 tests were distributed between March-September 2021). In December 2021 alone, 201 of Ohio’s 251 public library systems distributed more than 645,000 tests.

ODH ordered 1.2 million testing kits for public libraries and local health departments to distribute throughout January. So far, 400,000 testing kits have been received and are being distributed. Shipment of the remaining 800,000 testing kits has been delayed by the manufacturer as demand for these tests has increased nationwide.

As a result, the state is pausing shipments to libraries and local health departments, until inventory and the supply chain have stabilized. ODH anticipates receiving shipments later this month. At this time, the state is prioritizing their supply of tests for schools (K-12 and higher education). When more tests become available, ODH will resume sending tests to libraries and local health departments.

Please note: libraries are not the only place in Ohio to obtain a test.

photo of Athens librarians unloading boxes

Athens librarians unload a shipment of 1,700 at-home Covid tests from the Ohio Department of Health. The library distributed all of these tests to patrons in one day.

Right now, there are other options for people seeking a test: Drive-through testing sites across the state — 12 of which are now open (as of 1/11/22).

COVID-19 testing sites throughout Ohio
Interactive map — search by county or zip code and type of test (pop-up testing site, rapid at-home test, etc.).

Patrons pick up testing kits in the parking lot at Tipp City Public Library.

 

photo of book cart with covid testing kits

A staff member at the Cuyahoga County Public Library gets ready to hand out testing kits at the drive-through window.

 

Marysville PL

Marysville Public Library prepares testing kits for distribution.