Through a state program, free, at-home COVID-19 test kits are now available at the Napoleon Public Library.
The tests, which are self-administered with the help of an eMed proctor, are located in the upper level of the library.
Napoleon Public Library Director Betsy Eggers said they opted to be a part of the program and received 300 of the testing kits last week. She said public libraries were selected as a place to distribute the tests by the governor’s COVID testing team.
“They were trying to find a way to get all of these at-home test kits out into the hands of Ohioans, and they came up with the idea of the public library because there is a public library in just about every single community, definitely in every county, and we’re a trusted resource,” Eggers said. “We’re a public service that is free and open to every single resident in the community, so we’re always here for people.
“Our health departments are obviously super busy right now, so this is just one way for us to help,” she added.
Eggers said the tests are available at the Napoleon branch of the library. Individuals do not need to call prior to picking one up, however Eggers emphasized individuals should not enter the library if they are not feeling well. The library can be contacted to set up a no-contact curbside delivery, or a friend or family member can pick up the test for the individual.
“We can do the curbside if someone pulls up and gives a call ... we can take it out and put it in their trunk,” she said.
However, Eggers said some libraries have been offering the tests since February and they have reported people are most often seeking a negative result from the test, not because they’re ill.
“Whether that’s to travel or to return to work, it’s people that are looking for the negative (result), it’s not the symptomatic people who don’t feel well,” she said.
Individuals taking the test will need internet access, a laptop or desktop computer with an adjustable webcam, microphone and speaker and an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
“You have to use a smartphone or computer because you will go through an eMed appointment,” Eggers explained, adding the individual taking the test will be talking to a proctor. “They’ll look at your results, they’ll walk you through the process step by step. You have to have a computer with a camera because you’ll have to be able to hold that test result up so they can actually look at it.”
The tests can not be taken at the library and should be done at home. Eggers said the library does have mobile hot spots available for checkout if individuals don’t have internet access at home. However, she added they are popular items, so they’re not always available.
Eggers added the library does have to report to the state the number of tests taken by an individual and per household.
“We take down some basic information from them,” she said. “We don’t have to take down any personal information if they don’t want us to. None of their personal information is being reported to the state. I just need to keep track of how many we’re giving out per person.”
Eggers said the library is still operating on limited hours because of the pandemic, so that could possibly be an issue with individuals who can’t make it to the library between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Curbside service does start at 9:30 a.m. If the individual can’t make arrangements to stop by the library during those times and can’t have someone else pick one up for them, Eggers said they can contact the library to see if special arrangements can be made. The library can be contacted at 419-592-2531 or email@example.com.