Guest Post: Getting Free COVID-19 Test at Library Turns Out to be a Breeze

Despite hundreds of people lining up for free at-home COVID-19 tests, the distribution at Silver Spring Library at 900 Wayne Ave. could not have gone more smoothly. 

I arrived at 10:55 a.m., knowing distribution began at 11 a.m. Braving the 30-degree weather, a line of hundreds of masked residents flowed down Wayne Avenue, turned down Fenton Street, and wrapped up Bonifant Street, almost reaching Georgia Avenue. 

I stood at the back of the line, looking at The Pepper Thai Kitchen at 939 Bonifant St., wondering if I should stay in line or give up and come back another day. Residents can receive two test kits from the Silver Spring Library Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I decided to see how quickly the line moved.

To my shock and amazement, the line not only moved, but also moved at lightning speed. By 11:15, I had two COVID-19 tests in hand as county representatives shepherded people through the library lobby. After receiving the tests, I popped into the library to return a few books. By the time I came back down to exit the library, there was no line whatsoever.

“Rapid home tests for COVID-19 are important public health tools to help control the transmission of the virus and are more important than ever given the current spike in cases we are experiencing in our community,” Council President Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large) said in a Jan. 7 press release announcing the distribution of tests.

Montgomery County has a high COVID community transmission rate, according to county data. The high transmission rate is present even as 84 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and more than 43 percent have received the vaccine booster. 

Click here to learn more about the county’s free COVID-19 test distribution.

Guest post and photo by Dan Desai Martin, a resident of Silver Spring

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