Vermont to provide 500,000 free COVID tests through online system


MONTPELIER, Vermont (AP) – Vermont will provide 500,000 free rapid tests for COVID-19 using a system developed by the National Institutes of Health, the governor’s office has announced.

The program, details of which will be available next week, will serve as a pilot to help state officials assess a larger delivery system in which residents order tests online and have them delivered to homes.

Gov. Phil Scott said Thursday he hopes that in the near future rapid tests for COVID-19 will be readily available at local pharmacies at lower prices.

“But we have to bridge the gap between where we are today and where things will be in the months to come,” Scott said in a statement.

This is similar to a system President Joe Biden said the federal government will use to make rapid tests more readily available from the end of the month, but Vermont’s program is in addition to the federal program.

Scott said the main goal is to get field tests as efficient as possible.

“As with every new program there are going to be unforeseen challenges, the number of kits that each household can order will be limited, it could take up to a week for them to be delivered, and we expect that. they go very, very fast, ”Scott said.

Additional details on the program will be announced next week.

The rapid test delivery program comes as the state faces a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Acting Social Services Secretary Jenney Samuelson said rapid, self-administered testing is another way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s easy to do these tests in the privacy of your own home and get results in 10 to 15 minutes,” she said in a statement.

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