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Columbus Public Health won't receive more free COVID tests until January

While Columbus Public Health won't see any more COVID-19 tests until January, Franklin County is hoping to get more after giving out more than 16,000 on Monday.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — Columbus Public Health announced Monday that it won't be able to receive another shipment of free COVID-19 tests from the Ohio Department of Health until January.

The announcement comes as CPH and Franklin County Public Health handed out thousands of tests on Monday and over the weekend.

Franklin County gave away at least 16,000 tests at several different sites in less than an hour after the giveaway event began.

The distribution of free COVID-19 test kits comes as people begin to travel for the holidays.

In Grandview Heights, cars were turned away after the site ran out of tests by 9 a.m.

The same was true in Grove City where the mid-Ohio food collective had more than 4,000 free tests and they were gone within an hour.

“I don't know if we will be able to secure more for the Christmas holiday. Obviously, that's why folks were trying to get them today and that's the main reason why we wanted to make them available today, but in terms of making more of them available before Christmas we will be talking with the state in the next day or two,” said Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazolla.

Among those turned away from getting a free test was Kimberlee Butler.

“Crazy, really crazy. I'm sorry I missed out for real I'm going to try and find some today, hopefully I will,” she said.

Local pharmacies are also struggling to keep the tests on shelves. The Walgreens in Grandview says it ran out of tests on Saturday and hopes to have another shipment by Wednesday. 

The CVS across the street has few test kits left but limits each person to four tests.

The city of Westerville Fire Department also went through its supply of testing kits, as did Upper Arlington which had free kits available at the library.  

The Ohio Department of Health said for the month of December, the state made about 50,000 tests available to CPH and FCPH for the holiday season. That's in addition to the 32,000 ODH said they gave out earlier for normal testing priorities.

Columbus Metropolitan Libraries also received 32,000 tests.

At this time, the public can pick up a free rapid testing kit at one of 95 community health centers, 122 local health department-sponsored sites, and 522 public library sites. To date, ODH has distributed approximately 4.8 million rapid testing kits throughout Ohio," ODH told 10TV.

LifeCare Alliance of Columbus is offering an alternative to those who need a test with a quick result. You can get a PCR test at its West Broad Street location for $200. Test results are available in 30 minutes. To learn more, click here.

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