News & Politics

Some Maryland and Virginia Libraries Are Giving Out Free Rapid Covid Tests

You can pick up an at-home test kit in Fairfax, Alexandria, and Prince George’s counties.

Photo by OKrasayuk via iStock.

Sick of paying $30 for an at-home Covid test at a drugstore? The Fairfax County library system is now offering free, self-administered rapid tests. Starting Friday, December 3, you will be able to pick up a BinaxNOW take-home kit at any of Fairfax County Public Library’s branches.

You don’t need to show a library card—or even proof of residency—to pick up the test, but they do ask that you don’t complete them at the library itself. However, because you do need an internet connection for the test, you are able to connect to the libraries’ free WiFi from its parking lots.

FCPL isn’t the first area library system to offer free Covid testing. Prince George’s County library branches started offering the same BinaxNOW tests yesterday, but say it is only temporary. Each week, about 1,700 kits will be shared among the system’s 17 libraries, and each kit comes with two tests. You don’t have to show any identification or other proof to pick up a kit, but the library system is limiting one kit per person.

Public libraries in Alexandria have been offering the rapid tests since mid-November. And, while they aren’t rapid tests, DC public libraries and some rec centers have been offering free at-home Covid tests for months.