COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Counties across Ohio are seeing an increased spread of COVID-19, which could lead to a rise in demand for rapid at-home tests.

A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Health said it plans to continue buying rapid COVID tests and we as a state have purchased millions since they became available.

Ohio has purchased more than 16 million rapid tests since January of 2021.

“Our reach is very far, so as long as the Ohio Department of Health is providing these kits, we will continue to take them and deliver them to those who need them,” said Ben Zenitsky, a spokesman with the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Local libraries and health departments have been hubs for free kit distribution.

To date, ODH says $211 million, which includes federal grants, was spent to make home testing available to Ohioans.

“When we say we have to live with, you have to live with COVID, but that does not mean you have to ignore that COVID is going around, so still taking appropriate precautions,” said Dr. Mohammad Mahdee E. Sobhanie, an infectious disease doctor with Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Sobhanie adds that free tests remain crucial for public health.

Franklin County was bumped to yellow, or medium spread, by the CDC this week.

Sobhanie said early detection is needed for specific treatments.

“See if you’re eligible for monoclonal antibodies or one of the oral antiviral paxlovid,” he said.

Zenitksy said the library system is still seeing a demand for kits, and will be offering another testing option between now and early September.

“We recently partnered with the OSU Wexner Medical Center in conjunction with the OSU College of Medicine and they are administering free PCR testing at seven of our library locations each week,” he said.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library has all the dates and location for that PCR testing on their calendar.