Vermont to provide 500,000 free COVID tests through online system | Vermont News

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont will provide 500,000 free rapid tests for COVID-19 using a system developed by the National Institutes of Health, according to the governor’s office.

The program, details of which will be available next week, will serve as a pilot project to help state officials evaluate a broader delivery system in which residents order tests online and have them delivered to their homes.

Governor Phil Scott said Thursday he hopes that in the near future rapid tests for COVID-19 will be readily available at local pharmacies at lower prices.

“But we have to bridge the gap between where we are today and where things will be in the months to come,” Scott said in a statement.

This is similar to a system President Joe Biden has said the federal government will use to make rapid testing more readily available starting later this month, but Vermont’s program is in addition to the federal program.

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Scott said the main goal is to get field testing as efficiently as possible.

“As with every new program there will be unforeseen challenges, the number of kits each household can order will be limited, it could take up to a week for them to be delivered, and we expect that they will go very, very quickly,” Scott said.

Additional program details will be announced next week.

The rapid test delivery program comes as the state faces a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Acting Human Services Secretary Jenney Samuelson said rapid, self-administered tests are another way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s easy to perform these tests in the privacy of your home and have results in 10-15 minutes,” she said in a statement.

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