BFHD, Mid-Columbia Library offering free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — As the holiday season comes closer, multiple local agencies are partnering together to provide access to at-home COVID-19 tests so you can spread cheer instead of the coronavirus.

The Mid-Columbia Library (MCL) is giving out thousands of rapid tests from the Benton Franklin Health District (BFHD) to anyone who requests one.

“It’s important to have these tests with people and in their homes right now because everyone’s going to be gathering for the holidays, said the MCL’s Advocacy and Development Manager Sara Schwan. “It’s the intention to have these kits as widely available and with as many people as possible.”

COVID-19 tests are available at any of the MCL’s 12 locations in Benton and Franklin counties and the city of Othello.

Each package comes with two tests, instructions, and everything you need inside.

“We’ve also partnered with the Union Gospel Mission and communities and schools to make sure that those families and individuals that they serve have those kits as well,” Schwan said.

Schwan added that having access to tests like these is important for people “who perhaps don’t have Internet at home or perhaps a stable address.”

According to BFHD, as of Monday, there are 36 new cases in Benton County and 10 news cases in Franklin County.

The CDC also announced that Omicron is the most common variant in the country, accounting for nearly three-quarters of cases, so officials are recommending you test before hosting or attending any kind of gathering.

You can also order a box of tests for yourself online here.