Can’t find a COVID-19 test? DeKalb to hand out 5,000 at-home tests Thursday

Epidemiologist Says At-Home Testing May Help Stop the Pandemic

Epidemiologist Says At-Home Testing May Help Stop the Pandemic

DeKalb County is making thousands of at-home COVID-19 rapid tests available to help increase testing access amid the surge in omicron cases.

Over the past two weeks, testing sites across metro Atlanta have been bombarded with residents waiting hours to get their noses swabbed. DeKalb is no exception, with wait times sometimes surpassing two hours at the two state-run testing sites in the county.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond announced Wednesday that the county will make 5,000 at-home test kits available to residents to try to bridge the testing gap. The tests will be distributed today starting at 9 a.m. at three locations while supplies last.

“It breaks my heart to see so many of our citizens sitting in lines for two or three, sometimes four, hours just to get some satisfaction of knowing whether or not they’ve been infected with the virus,” Thurmond said during a news conference.

The county is limiting each person to only one test kit. People can wait in drive-thru lines or walk up to each of the three locations to receive their test kit. Here are the locations:

• South DeKalb Mall, 2801 Candler Rd., Decatur 30034

• North DeKalb Mall, 2050 Lawrenceville Hwy., Decatur 30033

• Plaza Fiesta, 4166 Buford Hwy., Atlanta 30345

Thurmond told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that American Rescue Plan Act funds are being used to purchase the tests. He added that the county will continue to look for large supplies of at-home tests and will likely hold future drive-thru events as long as testing demand remains high.

“We want to increase the availability of testing for anyone who needs it,” Thurmond said. “It is, I think, critical for us to do so if we’re going to defeat this virus in the coming year.”

Last week, Fulton County announced it would similarly purchase at-home tests due to long lines at its mass testing sites.