COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's order for 800,000 at-home rapid tests has been delayed by the manufacturer due to overwhelming demand nationwide, officials with the Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday.
What You Need To Know
- Ohio's order for 800,000 at-home test kits delayed
- Ohio to prioritize schools and colleges for receiving the home tests
- The state paused shipments to libraries and health departments
The health department has received 400,000 proctored at-home rapid tests so far in January out of the 1.2 million tests it ordered for the month. Officials still anticipate receiving the full order by the end of the month.
Due to the delays, the state will pause shipments to libraries and health departments, which have been distributing the tests to residents for free.
The state will prioritize distribution of the test kits to schools and colleges to support in-person learning.
“As supply becomes available, the rapid testing kits will first be distributed to meet the needs of K-12 schools and colleges/universities,” the Ohio Department of Health statement said. “COVID-19 tests are a critical tool to help ensure in-person learning can continue in Ohio schools.”
The tests the state has purchased are Abbott’s BinaxNow kits. Ohio has distributed a total of 5.6 million test kits, officials said.
The state's announcement comes as the White House said Wednesday that it will supply schools with an additional 10 million COVID-19 tests per month beginning in January, pledging to send districts both PCR tests and rapid tests.
The delay to Ohio's order will hinder libraries and health departments' efforts to make tests available to local communities. The DeWine administration pushed out much of the state’s supply of the home kits in December around the holidays, and the tests have been a scarce resource in recent weeks.
Some residents seeking free at-home tests will have a new option beginning Jan. 15, the date the federal government has set for when insurance companies will be required to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests. The test kits are flying off the shelves in Ohio pharmacies, and online retailers are selling out.