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State, libraries offer free COVID-19 test kits in pilot program


Michigan's health department and several libraries across the state have launched a pilot program to offer free at-home COVID-19 test kits, officials said Friday.

Nearly 5,500 kits were shipped this week to 18 libraries in Detroit as well as Calhoun, Clare, Newaygo, Oceana and Saginaw counties, they said. Each library received 300 of the kits, each which included one test.

More kits will be shipped to the libraries as needed, officials said, and more libraries will be added in the coming weeks.

"This partnership is just one more tool to keep our school communities safe," Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan's chief medical executive, said in a statement. "Along with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, mask-wearing and social distancing, take-home testing allows Michiganders easy access to testing."

Department officials said the number of test kits at each location is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Officials ask Michiganians to take only one kit per person, up to five per household.

The kits are available during business hours at:

► Detroit Main Library, 5201 Woodward

► Detroit Public Library-Campbell Branch, 8733 Vernor Hwy.

► Detroit Public Library-Edison Branch, 18400 Joy Road

► Detroit Public Library-Jefferson Branch, 12350 East Outer Dr.

► Detroit Public Library-Parkman Branch, 1766 Oakman

► Detroit Public Library- Redford Branch, 21200 Grand River

► Detroit Public Library-Wilder Branch, 7140 E. Seven Mile

► Detroit Mobile Library, various locations,

► Taylor Community Library, 12303 Pardee in Taylor

► Homer Public Library, 141 West Main in Homer    

► Pere Marquette District Library, 185 East Fourth in Clare 

► Surrey Township Public Library, 105 East Michigan St. in Farwell

► Harrison District Library, 105 East Main in Harrison

► Hesperia Community Library, 80 South Division in Hesperia

► White Cloud Community Library, 1038 Wilcox in White Cloud

► Hart Area Public Library, 415 South State in Hart

► Pentwater Township Library, 402 East Park in Pentwater

► James E. Wickson Memorial Library, 359 South Franklin in Frankenmuth

"We are continuing to find innovative ways to provide Michiganders with opportunities to protect themselves from COVID-19," Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state's Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

"Testing is an important tool to limit the spread of the virus and we encourage residents to visit participating library locations to get their test kit."

For more information, log on to Michigan.gov/coronavirus.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez