By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department
The Garrett County Health Department receives shipments of COVID-19 take home test kits about every two weeks. Each shipment is usually only 138 kits, which are then delivered to the Ruth Enlow Library to distribute through their library branches in order to make them available at multiple locations around the County.
Although the State of Maryland purchased 500,000 of the tests, so far the kits have only been delivered to the State at a rate of about 17,000 every two weeks. The kits are then distributed throughout 24 counties and Baltimore City. Distribution is partially determined by population, which is why Garrett County’s allotment is so small.
The Health Department is not directly distributing any of the kits, and neither the Health Department or the library system has any control of the timing of the shipments.
“If you call and ask when new kits will be available, the answer is always going to be the same – we don’t know when the next shipment will arrive,” said Diane Lee, Public Information Officer for the health department. “We will post on Facebook and on our website when new kits are available for pick up.”
Retail pharmacies are receiving shipments of test kits from their distributors and those kits are available for purchase at their pharmacies. However, the cost may be covered by the individual’s health insurance or flexible spending account.
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