Test kits a welcome development

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Access to testing for COVID-19 seems to have been a constant battle nationwide since the very beginning of the pandemic.

In the early days of the pandemic, it was difficult to locate testing sites for many across the country. Locally, the Western Tidewater Health District did a herculean job of setting up mass testing, often in drive-through form, as soon as possible after the pandemic hit home in March and kept those testing events going all throughout the spring and summer. As fall and winter 2020 approached, testing at local pharmacies and the like became easier and more convenient, and the frequency of these testing events fell off, but they do still continue to be held from time to time.

As 2021 has worn on, another testing priority has emerged: at-home testing. If we are going to slow the spread at this point in the pandemic, we need to have convenient, low-cost testing people can use before they gather or travel or use if they are feeling ill.

However, at-home tests are hard to find in the stores, and when they are there, they can be pricey, especially if you’re buying for a family or stocking up for future needs.

That’s why we were glad to see the announcement about Suffolk libraries distributing test kits using curbside service. These tests will be available at any of the three Suffolk Public Library locations, and they can be used anywhere someone has access to a mobile device or computer with camera and internet access. The internet access and camera are used to virtually proctor the test, so that people can rely on the results for proof if traveling.

The kits will be given only to adults, and there is a limit of five per person, per day. No library card is needed for the kits.

You can find more information in the story starting on the front page.

Thank you to the libraries for providing this option.