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At-home COVID-19 test kits can be picked up at JMRL branches

The Jefferson Madison Regional Library will have free COVID-19 test kits available for pick-up starting Wednesday.

The regional library system said Tuesday that it was partnering with the Virginia Department of Health to provide the kits. VDH announced a pilot program last week that would provide libraries and library systems with test kits to distribute in their respective communities and increase access to COVID testing.

“We are pleased to work with public libraries to provide another testing option for our community and to increase accessibility,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, deputy director of VDH’s Office of Epidemiology, in a VDH news release. “Testing continues to be important to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly as we enter the holiday season when people gather.”

The pilot started with 18 libraries and library systems and will run through Dec. 31. Under the program, individuals can pick up a virtually-guided Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test from the libraries, according to VDH.

“JMRL is very glad to be a part of this pilot to increase testing opportunities and accessibility for the people of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson,” JMRL director David Plunkett said in a news release.

With JMRL now participating, anyone in the community can call their local branch to make an appointment to pick up a kit. Pick up will be contactless and curbside, according to JMRL’s news release. A library card is not required, but a valid photo ID is.

Tests can’t be taken inside the library and staff can’t assist with administering the test. The kits do require an internet-connected device with a camera and microphone such as a smartphone. A trained guide will walk a person through the test over the phone. Digital results are available within 15 minutes.

Tests are meant to be used within two weeks of pickup, and most will expire by the end of the year. If a person is symptomatic, VDH advises them to consider sending someone else to pick their test.

For more information, go to or call a local JMRL branch. For more information about COVID testing options in the area, go to


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