CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Being around family is important during the holidays and being healthy is especially important this year.
Mahoning County Public Health had a special giveaway on Wednesday that encouraged people to get tested for COVID-19 before holiday gatherings.
The handout of COVID-19 test kits was popular at the Canfield Fairgrounds. The line was long but moved quickly as it was a simple drive-thru handout.
“A lot of the feedback we got is they want to gather safely. So they want to make sure family and friends are safe before they gather this year,” said Mahoning County Health Commissioner Ryan Tekac.
Tekac was involved in opening the boxes and handing out the kits. Each included two tests inside and each family was limited on the number of kits they could receive.
“It’s a 15 minute rapid antigen test, so you can take it the day of, before you gather, if you have that time, or the night before,” he said.
The hope is that people use them and don’t just collect them because they were free.
The county had close to 5,000 test kits that were provided by the Ohio Department of Health.
“It is a one day thing. We wish we could’ve had some more test kits available. If we were able to do more, we would’ve done more,” Tekac said.
The stacks of tests handed out could make a difference. They included a note telling people these tests are for personal use. There’s even a website where you can report results.
By the end, all that was left was a large number of empty boxes.
“If you have the ability to test before you gather, please do it, and ensure you’re getting vaccinated if you can get vaccinated. If you are sick, we ask people to stay home because that’s what spreads respiratory viruses and colds,” Tekac said.
The test is just a rapid test, a quick nasal swab to see if you have the virus. A positive result means you should stay away from others. The rapid test is not for seeing if you can travel, return to school or end a quarantine.