Massachusetts To Give Out 2.1 Million Free At-Home COVID Tests

Gov. Baker announces a new COVID mass-testing initiative, giving out more than 2.1 million tests across the state. Photo: James Rojas/ WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced the state would be giving out 2.1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests to more than a hundred towns and cities. The tests will be distributed starting in the coming week, starting with the 102 communities with the highest percentage of residents over the poverty line in the state. Those communities cover nearly 3.7 million residents.

"The big problem in many cases for many people have been cost and supply, which have been major barriers," he said.

Some of the largest towns and cities in the state are on the list, including Boston, Worcester and Springfield. The tests themselves will be sourced from the medical company iHealth Labs, at a cost of five dollars a test, which is a total of about $10.5 million.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Mass. National Guard will give out the tests to the communities, but it will be up to the towns and cities themselves to decide how to get the tests out to the public.

Baker called the at-home tests "potentially a game changer." The governor also pointed to a deal that was in the works to "make available bulk, cheap purchasing deals for every city and town in Massachusetts."

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