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Valley libraries await take-home COVID test restock

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 5:37 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Shenandoah Valley libraries are hoping for a restock of their COVID-19 at-home rapid tests.

The libraries partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to provide the tests, and Augusta County Library Director Dr. Jennifer Brown said she was excited to do it.

“We’re just really happy we can partner with VDH in making these tests accessible,” Brown said.

She said she wasn’t sure how the community would respond, but they’re out of tests, and they’re ready to give out more. Brown said Staunton Public Library started handing out tests before Thanksgiving, and Augusta County started handing them out after the holiday.

“Between Staunton Public Library and Augusta Public Library, we’ve given out over 1500 test kits throughout the surrounding areas, and are onboard for handing out probably another 500 in the next coming weeks, maybe even possibly a week. They’re going really quickly,” Brown said.

All of this effort is to try to keep another COVID-19 surge at bay.

“We live in a fairly rural area. It’s not always as easy to get to a pharmacy or an urgent care in order to get tested, so having them on hand at home is really easy for people,” Brown said. “Not to mention, the holidays are coming up, so we just wanted to make sure that people had the ability to test the day of when they’re going to be with lots of family members so they can know if they’re safe to do so.”

Isaac Izzillo, Augusta Health’s Director of COVID Vaccinations and Education, said three factors likely come into play with these high testing demands: the emergence of omicron, the increase in local COVID cases, and the urge to gather safely for upcoming holidays.

He said if you need to test for peace of mind, you should do that, especially if you’re going to be around people who haven’t been vaccinated or received a booster or people who have preexisting conditions.

“We have a lot of people who are worried about their loved ones that they want to be around. If someone is feeling fine, everything is ok, but they feel like they possibly could’ve been exposed, I would advise people to get tested as close to the date you’re going to see your loved one, whether its 24-48 hours beforehand,” Izzillo said.

He said it’s all about the knowledge.

“If you don’t really know you’re positive, you can really influence others,” Izzillo said.

The tests are available for curbside pickup at Augusta County Library locations in Fishersville, Churchville, Stuarts Draft and Weyers Cave, as well as the Staunton Public Library. You can check their Facebook for information about restocking, and call to let them know you’re there to pick them up.

The library asks if you’re sick to send a family member to pick up the test for you.

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