PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island municipalities have announced more opportunities for residents to collect free rapid COVID-19 tests this week.
Gov. Dan McKee recently announced the state received an additional 400,000 at-home COVID test kits.
McKee said 70% of the tests will be given to municipalities to hand out, while 30% will be distributed through community-based organizations.
12 News has compiled a list of test distributions cities and towns have posted. Don’t see yours? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town held a targeted drive-thru distribution of the tests for residents 60 and older last week. The town posted on its Twitter account Monday it had exhausted its supply of test kits.
The town noted on its website last Wednesday the R.I. Department of Health is preparing to distribute approximately 6,500 rapid at-home test kits to specific community groups within Bristol. Eligibility to receive these test kits was determined by FEMA Public Assistance guidance. In Bristol, these at-home tests will be provided to the Bristol-Warren Regional School District, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, and the Bristol Health Equity Zone (HEZ) for distribution.
The town’s police department shared on Monday the town will once again be distributing free test kits this coming Thursday, Jan. 27 from 5-7 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Jesse M. Smith Library.
The police department says both events will be walk-up distributions, and will offer one test kit per resident.
Alternatively, test kits are also available for pick-up at the Pascoag Library, Harrisville, Oakland/Mapleville and Pascoag Fire Stations.
Residents can call 401-710-7800 for more information.
In partnership with R.I. Department of Health, PCF Development distributed free at-home COVID test kits to Pawtucket or Central Falls residents at 44 Central St. in Central Falls last Thursday.
The town received a limited supply of test kits and will distribute them based on FEMA guidance, which focuses on vulnerable members of the population: schools, group homes, non-congregate shelters, MEDS clinics, and senior housing and programs.
Charlestown residents ages 80 and older can pick up kits with a valid ID at the Senior Center on Park Lane on Jan. 25 and 26 from 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.
Coventry Police Chief Frederick Heise told 12 News the town will be distributing its allotment of 6,030 boxes of test kits (in packs of two) to schools, nursing homes and group homes. The police department is in talks with the school department on how to distribute the tests to students and staff. Heise added that the police department is reaching out to group homes and nursing homes in the area, and said those tests should be handed out by this week, if not sooner.
Drive-thru distribution events were held last Saturday. No future events have been announced yet.
Since supplies are limited, the city recommended visiting COVIDtests.gov to order at-home tests from the federal government.
Cumberland Mayor Jeffrey Mutter said last week the town began the process of distributing its supply of 11,970 at-home COVID-19 test kits in compliance with FEMA guidelines, and had allocated some tests to the Cumberland School Department, Senior Center and first responders. Mutter also said the town has reached out to the Housing Authority and is awaiting their response.
Last Friday, the town began distributing test kits to East Greenwich residents.
During the initial distribution, the town will focus on providing them to targeted groups, including senior citizens, those with underlying health conditions, the East Greenwich Housing Authority, and families with school-aged children.
Each household is eligible to receive one kit, which contains two tests. The East Greenwich Housing Authority will be distributing their allotted test kits to their community members separately.
Residents ages 60 and older, with underlying health conditions or families with school aged children can get their test kits during the following days and times at the Swift Community Center while supplies last:
- Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 2 – 5 p.m.
- Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 2 – 5 p.m.
Additional distribution events will be held in the near future, according to the town.
The city hosted two drive-through distribution events last week for East Providence families with school-aged children, persons who are immunocompromised and residents ages 65 and older.
East Providence Bob DaSilva said city staff handed out hundreds of test kits to walk-in residents at City Hall on Monday, and the city has also been making deliveries to residents of senior housing and group homes.
The mayor said Tuesday test kits are still available at City Hall at 145 Taunton Ave, and residents may pick up Tuesday Jan. 25th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Exeter EMA director E. Stefan Coutoulakis tells 12 News the town is working with its social services director and the Boy Scouts to distribute tests in the coming week to:
- RISNER Populations (portion of population with specific health concerns)
- Group Homes
- Elderly shut-ins
- Remaining from a list being generated through Town Hall of residents 65 and older.
Emergency Management Director Gerry Mosca told 12 News the town of Glocester received 1,620 kits. Mosca said the kits are being distributed in a prioritized order: elementary schools, group homes, Glocester Housing Authority, Glocester Senior Center, and medical public safety.
The remainder were being distributed from the police department to residents over the age of 60 on Friday, Jan. 21.
The town acknowledged it’s received a limited supply of at-home COVID tests, however, they have all been distributed to priority groups within the community such as schools, group homes and certain housing facilities.
If any additional tests are provided to the town in the future, those tests will be provided accordingly and distribution locations will be announced. In the meantime, the town suggests signing up to receive free COVID tests at the federal level.
The police department announced last Wednesday that the town received 1,800 at-home COVID test kits from the state. The town posted as of Friday afternoon, 900 test kits have been distributed, and no additional test kits were available.
Roughly 8,000 test kits were handed out to residents at Johnston High School in a drive-thru event last Saturday. Mayor Joe Polisena Jr. said he and other city leaders also delivered tests to elderly residents.
Mayor Polisena has not announced any additional at-home rapid test distribution events, but says the town is offering free PCR testing.
Testing will occur at the trailer located in the parking lot at the Johnston High School off Cherry Hill Road, Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the Tri-County Community call center at 401-519-1940.
Free COVID test kits will be made available to Lincoln residents at the following locations:
- Senior Center (150 Jenckes Hill Road)
- Go to front desk with a license to show proof of residency
- Only one test per person
- Normal business hours: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Lincoln Public Library (145 Old River Road)
- Go to front desk with a license to show proof of residency
- Only one test per person
- Normal business hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A limited number of test kits have been provided to Lincoln Public Schools to be distributed among families in the district. Anyone who has a school-aged child is asked to check with their school regarding the distribution of those test kits.
Public safety personnel distributed at-home COVID-19 tests to residents last Sunday. No additional test distributions events have been announced.
Middletown Fire Chief James Peplau said the town has received 5,400 boxes of kits, which will be distributed through the Middletown Senior Center and public schools “to ensure they have adequate testing.”
The town is making sure it distributes the tests in “a compliant manner,” according to to Peplau. He noted the kits were purchased with FEMA public assistance money that stipulates the kits must be distributed to residents identified as high-risk.
The town said last week residents who are 65 and older and wish to obtain free at home rapid COVID-19 testing kits could visit the Narragansett Community Center/Congregate Meal Plan/Shelter. The town noted it had a limited number of test kits available for distribution.
New Shoreham (Block Island)
New Shoreham Emergency Management Director Bill McCombe told 12 News the island received roughly 250 boxes (2 tests per box), that will be distributed through the Block Island Medical Center, school, fire and police.
Spokesman Tom Shevlin said the city will be providing its 8,000 tests directly to Newport Schools, the Newport Housing Authority and community centers. From there, he said they’ll go wherever the need is until the supply runs out.
Shevlin encouraged residents to take advantage of free walk-in testing on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon at the Edward King House Senior Center.
Additionally, the Edward King House will administer free at-home tests for Newport senior residents Tuesday, Jan. 25 through Friday, Jan. 28 from noon to 3 p.m. Supplies are limited and it’s first-come, first-served.
The town noted its supply of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests had been completely distributed as of Sunday.
According to a post on social media by the police department, the town ran out of all of the 10,000 tests provided to them by the state.
The town says residents will be notified when more testing kits from the state have been received.
Free COVID test kits will be made available to North Smithfield residents who show proof of residency.
Those interested in receiving the test kits could pick them up beginning last Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon at Halliwell School (358 Victory Highway). Residents are limited to two kits (containing two tests each) per household as long as supplies are available.
The town asked residents not to reach out to the fire department, police department or town hall seeking information, as these calls will tie up important telephone lines.
The city announced Pawtucket residents in need of tests can visit the Pawtucket Library or Senior Center starting Thursday, Jan. 20, during normal operating hours. Tests are limited to one per resident, with proof of residency required.
Portsmouth Emergency Management Director Ray Perry tells 12 News the town received 5,400 tests (2/kit or 2,700 kits to distribute). Perry says the town only had enough to provide one kit per person to all our 4 Public Schools and to one of its housing units (Quaker Manor). The town plans to continue distributing tests to schools, health equity zones (HEZs), group homes, State-run nursing homes, non-congregate shelters, testing sites and medical facilities when it receives its next shipment.
The city handed out test kits last Friday at the West End Recreation Center. Additional distribution events have not been announced.
While kits are available to all residents, city leaders encouraged those in the hardest-hit ZIP codes like 02907 and 02909 to attend.
The town held a drive-through distribution last Friday. Town officials anticipate additional tests will be made available, and encouraged anyone who didn’t receive one during the original distribution event to try again at a later date.
The town held a PCR test and rapid testing kit pickup event last Saturday at Smithfield High School.
Town officials said beside that event, kits are being distributed to congregate settings such as schools, group homes and elderly housing.
Interim Town Manager Theresa Murphy told 12 News last week the town had begun distributing 9,360 COVID-19 tests to specific eligible groups including schools, nursing homes, group homes, medical facilities and non-congregate shelters, as directed by RIEMA and FEMA. As of last Thursday, kits had been distributed to all senior housing facilities, nursing homes and the school department.
Beginning Monday, Jan. 24, kits will be available to residents age 65 and older at the South Kingstown Senior Center at 25 St. Dominic Road, Wakefield, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. while supplies last. Individuals must show proof of residency and age in order to receive a kit.
The town distributed free COVID-19 test kits to residents on Monday at Tiverton High School. No additional distribution events have been announced.
Warren Fire and Rescue Chief James Sousa tells 12 News the town received 1,620 kits, which are currently being distributed through the schools and elderly housing complex.
The city announced began distributing 27,900 testing kits to residents last Thursday.
Targeted groups for the testing kits include: senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions, Warwick Public Schools, the Warwick Housing Authority, a women’s shelter, and the Warwick Fire Department for use on rescue calls.
Residents over the age of 55 with underlying health conditions can get their kit at the Warwick Public Library on Sandy Lane from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. They can also obtain their test at the Pilgrim Senior Center on Pilgrim Parkway from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The city asks residents to only get a testing kit if they have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
West Greenwich posted on its website that the town was notified it will receive several hundred COVID test kits, and according to FEMA guidelines, the initial tests are not for public distribution.
“Due to the federal government’s lack of tests at this time, FEMA is providing a limited number of tests to be used at testing sites for residents exhibiting symptoms, not asymptomatic people,” the announcement read. “Discussions are underway with our local EMA director regarding testing protocols and the location of a convenient testing site. We will share that information as it becomes available. We will also keep you posted should we receive any test kits for public distribution.”
Tests and masks will also be distributed at the West Warwick Health Equity Zone at 1229 Main St. on Thursday, Jan. 27. from 4 – 6 p.m.
Fire Chief J. Jeffrey Varone told 12 News COVID-19 tests kits are also available during normal hours of operation at West Warwick Public Library and the West Warwick Senior Center.
The town’s EMA previously held a drive-thru distribution for residents last Saturday at West Warwick High School.
Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the town will be handing out 3,600 test kits on a first-come, first served basis. Additional dates, times and locations for at home COVID-19 test kit distribution were announced, but the police department asks if you have already received a test kit to not show up for another one, to allow everyone in the community to be able to get a test kit.
- Tuesday, Jan. 25: 9am-1pm at Westerly Police Station 60 Airport Rd and 1-3 p.m. at Westerly Senior Center, 39 State St
- Wednesday, Jan. 26: 3-5 p.m. at Westerly Middle School, 10 Sandy Hill Road. Set up will be in the cafeteria. The public can access the cafeteria from the exterior cafeteria door in the front of the building.
- Thursday Jan. 27: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Westerly High School Babcock Hall 23 Highland Ave. Set up will be in the main entrance area of Babcock Hall.
According to Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, a drive-thru distribution event will be held at the Rivers Edge Recreation Complex on Davison Avenue from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Each vehicle will receive two test kits while supplies last, and proof of residency is required. Baldelli-Hunt asked that attendees have a valid driver’s license or ID ready to keep the line moving.
The mayor’s office also reminded residents that testing is available every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Woonsocket Elks Lodge at 380 Social St. Appointments can be made by visiting portal.ri.gov or calling (401) 222-8022.