State to Issue COVID-19 Home Test Kits, Increase Surveillance

COVID-19 Test Kit

Governor Larry Hogan announced at a press conference on December 1 that the state will begin making rapid home test kits for COVID-19 available to state residents and that state health officials are stepping up surveillance to identify when the new variant of the virus, known as Omicron, enters Maryland.

News outlets reported Dec.1 that Omicron has been detected in one person in California.

The state, Gov. Hogan said, has partnered with Johns Hopkins Health System and the University of Maryland Medical System for increased surveillance to detect Omicron. The dominant variant of the virus in Maryland remains Delta, Gov. Hogan said.

The rapid at-home test kits will be free, the Governor said. The state has secured a supply of 500,000 kits, Gov. Hogan said at the press conference.

He noted that the Maryland Department of Health will distribute the kits directly to local health departments, which will then make them available at designated locations in their jurisdictions, such as local health departments, libraries, and community centers. Local health departments will make announcements regarding when the test kits will be available.

Meanwhile, the test kits will be made available to travelers at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport immediately, the Governor said.

The Governor again urged Marylanders to get a COVID-19 vaccine.