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'Testgiving': Central Ohio health departments distribute free rapid test kits ahead of Thanksgiving

Local health departments are trying to get free kits into as many hands as possible.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As many people are preparing to gather for Thanksgiving -- picking up an at-home COVID test might be on your list.

Local health departments are trying to get free kits into as many hands as possible.

For Sean Delaney, taking a COVID rapid test is something she plans to do before hosting Thanksgiving this year.

“It's really important especially because I've got my grandmother and a couple of aging members of our family that will be present and really just want to be mindful and be as preventative as possible,” she said.

Kathy Eng said she has bought at-home test kits before, and they are expensive. When she heard about Franklin County Public Health’s free test distribution she made a point to make it on Monday.

“I know that I will not be exposing loved ones,” she said.

With the goal of getting tests in as many hands as possible, local health departments are giving them out for free.

“These rapid tests are really effective, they're great, they're convenient and we want to make sure that our community has access to them before the holiday,” said Franklin County Public Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola.

On Monday, Franklin County Public Health held a drive-thru and walk-up distribution.

Ahead on Tuesday, Columbus Public Health with hold its COVID test distribution from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Celeste Center.

Many kits are available for free at local libraries. You can also find out more about where to get a free test near you on the state’s website. Testing and Community Health Centers | COVID-19 (ohio.gov)

Many who picked up a kit on Monday said they are fully vaccinated and want to be extra careful.

“This was great,” said Eng. “This is such a great offer and I'm so grateful that we have these especially right before thanksgiving.”

“Last year we huddled by a fire outside with four of us,” said Delaney. “This year there's going to be six to eight and it feels like a really exciting opportunity to spend time with some of our extended family and loved ones.”

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