Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

State offers free at-home COVID-19 tests

You can order the tests through the state’s new online portal.

The Washington State Department of Health will now be providing free at-home COVID-19 test kits to households in the state.

The DOH launched an online portal for ordering the free rapid tests on Friday, Jan. 21.

However, there is a limit to five tests per household, regardless of the number of people who live in a house, according to the DOH. The limit per household is due to a limited supply of tests, according to the DOH.

“We anticipate people’s initial need in the test kits will exceed our current supply pretty quickly, but our focus is sharing what we have right now,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary for Prevention & Health. “We want to make sure the tests we have are in homes when our state needs testing the most – during this current surge.”

Current data suggests that the peak of Omicron has passed, however transmission is still high, according to King County’s COVID-19 dashboard.

While cases in King County are down 29% over the last 7 days, hospitalizations have increased six percent and deaths have increased 71% in the same time.

This program is very similar to the federal program that sends free rapid COVID-19 tests to households.

“This is an important step toward making tests more widely available across the state,” said Umair A. Shah, Secretary of Health. “As we work with our federal partners, we look forward to seeing an increase in the number of tests flowing directly into people’s homes over the next several weeks.”

In addition to this statewide program, King County Library System announced its partnership with Public Health Seattle King County to provide vaccines at libraries.

This partnership was also announced on Friday, Jan. 21 and vaccines will be offered beginning Feb. 1, according to the King County Library System. The vaccine clinics will be held at the Auburn, Enumclaw, Federal Way and Tukwila Libraries.

The vaccines are free regardless of insurance, or immmigration status, according to the county. Single, double and booster shots will be available for patients five years old and up.

To find the hours and locations of the vaccine clinics, visit the King County Library System website.


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