HONESDALE, Pa. — UPDATE: In less than 48 hours, Wayne Memorial Community Health Center (WMCHC) offices gave out roughly 10,000 free COVID rapid-antigen tests. WMCHC anticipates getting another supply of free tests next week.
Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers is one of the first community health systems in the area to receive a large shipment of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests to give to anyone free of charge.
The hospital and urgent care centers have been overwhelmed by people coming in for a COVID test.
"The omicron is hitting us really hard right now. It's just another tool in the fight against the pandemic, and we're glad to be able to help a little bit," said Fred Jackson, WMCHC executive director.
Danny Kingston picked up two rapid test kits while at his appointment in Honesdale. He knows they have been hard to come by.
"My family members and coworkers have been trying to, you know, get more than I have because I just keep getting it and get my own antibodies, kind of, but you know, somebody that would need it, I would gladly give them to them."
Wayne Memorial wanted to make it easy for people to get a test, so people can pick them up at any one of their 14 locations.
"You do not have to be a patient," Jackson said. "We don't even need to know your name. We don't want to know your name. Just come and get them."
Over the next six weeks, roughly 10,000 kits will be made available each week, two kits per person to ensure they're distributed to as many people as possible.
"It's nice to have, especially if it comes back positive, you can check again because you can get a false positive," Kingston said.
Wayne Memorial staff says it's best to call ahead to make sure the office you're going to has the at-home test kits available. If they've run out, you'll have to wait until the following week to try again.
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