CORONAVIRUS, Health, Oregon

Oregon buys 6 million at-home test kits to give away free through community outlets

SALEM – The Oregon Health Authority has ordered 6 million home test kits to be given away free to help detect the coronavirus, the agency announced Thursday.

The kits, each containing two tests, will be sent to health agencies, schools and community organizations to distribute. They also will go to farm and agricultural workers, health care workers, shelters and early learning centers.

Commercially-available home test kits have been in short supply, with some pharmacies and other retailers reporting they are selling out as soon as they get stocks in.

The state stock will be in addition to President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the federal government will directly provide 500 million free at-home tests. A website to request those tests is expected to be operating soon.

In Oregon, the state is paying $10 for its test kits, with the $60 million cost being covered by FEMA funding.

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