Massachusetts joins other states in distributing free at-home tests.

Massachusetts secured more than two million rapid at-home tests that would be delivered to 102 towns with high poverty rates.,

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Massachusetts joins other states in distributing free at-home tests.

Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts announced on Monday that his state had secured more than two million rapid at-home tests that would be delivered to 102 towns with high poverty rates.
Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts announced on Monday that his state had secured more than two million rapid at-home tests that would be delivered to 102 towns with high poverty rates.Credit…Brian Snyder/Reuters

By Todd Gregory

  • Dec. 13, 2021, 7:42 p.m. ET

Massachusetts said on Monday that it would offer free at-home coronavirus tests to some of its residents, joining several other states around the country.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced that the state had secured more than two million rapid at-home tests that would be delivered to 102 towns with high poverty rates. The tests will be distributed by each municipality with an emphasis on getting them to the people who are in the greatest financial need.

Mr. Baker, a Republican, said at a news conference on Wednesday that the state was also working toward making bulk purchasing deals with test makers for broader distribution.

As of Sunday, the seven-day average of new cases in Massachusetts was up 78 percent from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times database.

Neighboring New Hampshire offered home delivery of rapid tests at the end of November, and all of the tests were claimed almost immediately. Maryland also announced last month that it was distributing 500,000 test kits through local health departments.

At-home tests are available to Colorado residents on a state website. Likewise, Iowans can order tests from a website called Test Iowa, but only the sampling for those tests is done at home. Once collected, the samples must be taken to a UPS drop-off location, and results are later returned online.

In Ohio, the state has taken advantage of existing public infrastructure by giving out free tests at hundreds of public libraries.

The spotty availability of at-home tests in the United States stands in contrast to the situation in some countries in Europe. Rapid tests can be picked up for free at pharmacies in Britain, and packs can be ordered for free online. And in Germany, the government put hundreds of millions of dollars into the creation of thousands of rapid test sites.

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