COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Franklin County Public Health is partnering with some of the county’s fire departments to hold a COVID-19 test giveaway event Monday, setting up at multiple locations to distribute the test kits free of charge.

In total, FCPH will have 16,000 kits available for the event, which it’s calling Test The Season, encouraging people to get tested before gathering with family or friends you don’t normally see.

As Christmas gets closer, Ohio is seeing some of its highest COVID-19 numbers of the pandemic.

“The pandemic is here, we’re in the midst of another wave, and we all need to be highly cautious of all of our activities,” said Dr. Mark Herbert with Mount Carmel.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can pick up the BinaxNow Rapid At-Home Test-Kits at the following 10 locations:

  • Mid-Ohio Food Collective, 3960 Brookham Dr, Grove City (drive-through event)
  • Grandview: Out of tests
  • Jackson Township: 3650 Hoover Rd
  • Mifflin Township: 2459 Agler Rd; 475 Rocky Fork Blvd; 501 Beecher Rd; 422 McCutcheon Rd
  • Truro Township: 6900 E. Main St
  • Upper Arlington: 3861 Reed Rd
  • Westerville: Out of tests

Herbert is reminding people to follow the guidance we’ve been hearing throughout the pandemic: good hygiene, masks, vaccines, and testing.

The giveaway comes as Ohio experiences COVID-19 case numbers not seen since January of this year.

“So we all need to be very cautious if we are stepping outside of our normal comfort zone, if we’re leaving our homes, if we’re visiting other people,” said Dr. Mark Herbert, a physician with Mount Carmel. “This is a time that’s critical to be aware of our situation so you can protect yourself and your families.”

“I would say if the tests are available to you, I think it would be wise to use them to test yourself before gathering, especially if you’re unvaccinated,” said Dr. Brad Fuller with Central Ohio Primary Care. “That’s a good way to make sure you’re not potentially spreading the virus to other family members.”

Columbus Public Health also distributed kits this weekend, holding an event Saturday, distributing more than 10,000 test kits, all it had available.

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