Island towns to hand out COVID test kits

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Down Island towns are distributing at-home test kits test kits. — Geoff Thors

Updated Jan. 22

Another round of free COVID test kits will be available for Tisbury and Oak Bluffs residents beginning next week.

On Monday, Jan. 24, Tisbury residents can pick up test kits at the town hall, town hall annex, fire station, and Vineyard Haven Public Library during regular business hours and while supplies last. Additional test kits are expected each week.

“In order to protect our staff, individuals who are not feeling well are asked to refrain from entering town buildings for test kits,” a press release from the town reads.

Oak Bluffs will distribute test kits to residents on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at town hall from 2 pm to 5 pm or while supplies last.

In Edgartown, on Monday, Jan. 24, from 9 am to 1 pm in the front lobby of town hall, test kits will be available for pick up by those that have been on Edgartown’s waitlist (approx 400 registrants). Those that are on the waitlist have been emailed about the date, time and location, health agent Matt Poole told The Times.   

Beginning at 1 pm on Monday, Jan. 24, and thereafter, test kits will be available for pickup at the town hall lobby with no pre-registration required. The registration site previously utilized by the town has been suspended and is no longer required, Poole wrote.  

“It is not necessary for anyone to get in line early,” he wrote. “There are more than enough kits available to meet current needs.” Anyone on the waitlist who is unable to pick up Monday morning can pick the test up at their convenience, Poole wrote.

“Pick up in the lobby will be monitored and those that are picking up are asked to respect the limited supply,” he wrote. “The Island does expect continued weekly deliveries for the foreseeable future so there is no need to stockpile. We expect test kits to be available as needed.”

Poole also pointed out that town health officials don’t want lines to form or for anyone with symptoms to pick up test kits. “If someone is symptomatic and would like to obtain a test kit they should have a friend or family member pick it up for them or call the board of health in the town where they reside and make special arrangements to obtain a kit,” he wrote. “A well fitted mask is required to enter town hall.”

West Tisbury will begin distributing tests on Jan. 24 starting at 9:30 am and ending at 12 pm at town hall.

Starting at 1 pm on Jan. 24 and then continuing throughout normal business hours throughout the rest of the week, West Tisbury will have tests available for pickup at the West Tisbury Library, Public Safety Building, and the council on aging to serve the elderly.

Finally on Thursday Jan. 27 from 4 pm to 6 pm, tests will be available for those who need a later pickup time at the public safety building in West Tisbury.

Your card will be needed to pick up test kits. First timers will need I.D showing proof of residency,” an email from West Tisbury health agent Omar Johnson said.

The federal government is also offering four free test kits to each household. The federal program can be accessed through covidtests.gov.

Updated to clarify Edgartown’s distribution process. -Ed.