Hundreds Line Up for COVID-19 Test Kits

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As hospital admissions swell from a surge of COVID-19 cases tied to the omicron variant, a steady stream of vehicles converged on the Eugenia Atkinson Recreation Center this morning to get some of the free COVID-19 home test kits. 

Vehicles were observed lining up for the kits before 8 a.m. Hundreds of vehicles were backed up onto Martin Luther King Boulevard and along Wirt Boulevard to pick up the test kits, which were scheduled to be distributed beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 

The Youngstown City Health District also is administering first, second or booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines inside the center, 903 Otis St. Anyone receiving their first dose of the vaccine would receive a $100 gift card. Flu shots also are available.

Distribution was limited to four test kits per vehicle. The kits were being distributed by eight Youngstown health department workers, assisted by a couple volunteers, in a drive-thru fashion from a small utility truck. Five city police officers were on hand at the site.   

Erin Bishop, city health commissioner, said she had 2,500 test kits on hand to distribute this morning but expected another shipment later in the day. 

“We’re hoping to get another shipment today,” she said. 

At 9:30 a.m., WKBN-27 reported the health district was already running low on tests and would have to start turning people away.

The city health department will host another test kit distribution and vaccination clinic at the center Dec. 29.

Pictured at top: Youngstown Health Commissioner Erin Bishop passes out COVID-19 test kits to residents Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.