COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With Thanksgiving just days away, central Ohio health leaders want you to get tested for COVID-19 before you gather around the table with family and friends.

To help facilitate that, thousands of at-home test kits are available for free.

Starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday, residents will be able to pick up the kits at the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Columbus Public Health said it has 20,000 kits available.

Earlier in the pandemic, the Celeste Center was used as a drive-through testing and vaccine site.

“We feel comfortable that our community is familiar with the Celeste, we know how to do drive-through clinics there,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, health commissioner with Columbus Public Health.

Roberts is encouraging people to get tested before getting together with friends and family.

“So you can know going into your celebration on Thanksgiving day what you’re status is, and if you do test positive, could be asymptomatic, could have mild symptoms, you know to stay back, stay home, and don’t participate in that activity,” she said.

The drive-through will be open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Franklin County residents can get as many as 12 kits.

“It’s, again, another layer of protection,” Roberts said. “It’s harm reduction method that we’re using really to encourage the gathering, but to do it safely.”

Franklin County Public Health also held what it called “Test-giving” on Monday, giving away all 6,000 of its at-home test kits.

“We’ve seen cases go back up over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen hospitalizations start to creep up a little bit,” said Joe Mazzola, Franklin County Public Health commissioner. “Now is not the time to let off the efforts here in terms of making sure we’re protecting our community. Let’s use every tool we have.”

At-home tests are also available at Columbus rec centers and libraries.

Roberts is still urging people to get vaccinated if they haven’t, saying the shot is the best tool against COVID-19.