BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced plans to increase access to at-home COVID-19 test kits for residents across the Commonwealth. The administration has secured 2.1 million iHealth Labs over-the-counter (OTC) at-home rapid antigen tests that will be delivered to 102 communities with the highest percentage of families below the poverty level. These free tests will be available for distribution to the public by each municipality, with an emphasis on increasing access for individuals and families who are facing financial hardship. Click here for the list of 102 cities and towns.
“With the holidays approaching, we encourage residents to utilize rapid tests as a convenient way to keep family members and friends safe at gatherings,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “While these tests are widely available at many pharmacies and retail locations across the Commonwealth, we are making it even easier for residents to get free rapid testing through these initiatives.”
While the initial 2.1 million OTC rapid antigen tests will be distributed to 102 high-need communities across the Commonwealth, the administration is finalizing plans to allow municipalities and other public entities to directly purchase tests from test manufacturers at fixed, state-negotiated prices. The administration posted a procurement opportunity on Dec. 10 for manufacturers, and municipalities will be able to order in January. The administration will provide more details on how municipalities can procure these tests in the coming weeks. Municipalities are able to utilize American Rescue Plan Act funding, as well as federal COVID-19 relief funding, to purchase the rapid antigen test kits.
At-home rapid antigen test kits are a fast, easy, and convenient way to test for COVID. In addition to the administration providing iHealth Labs OTC at-home rapid antigen test kits and allowing municipalities to directly purchase tests, residents can visit local pharmacies or order online to purchase rapid test kits on their own as needed.
Massachusetts performs more COVID tests than almost any other state in the country, thanks to hundreds of existing testing locations across the Commonwealth, including 38 free, state-sponsored Stop the Spread testing sites. Residents can continue to access these COVID testing sites during the holidays. All testing sites are listed at mass.gov/gettested.