DeKalb city to spend $100K to give at-home COVID-19 tests to residents

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Rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits are ready to be distributed by the GreenRoots environmental protection organization and Chelsea Community Connections in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on Dec. 17, 2021. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

By Zachary Hansen

A DeKalb County city will provide at-home COVID-19 test kits to residents to encourage more frequent testing.

The Clarkston City Council approved $100,000 in funding for the test kit program at its Tuesday meeting. The effort mirrors a similar program by DeKalb, which distributed 5,000 at-home test kits in late December.

Mayor Beverly Burks told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the extra access to test kits will help slow the rapid spread of COVID-19′s omicron variant, which led to long lines at mass testing facilities throughout metro Atlanta during late December and early January.

“Providing access to Clarkston residents and staff to Covid-19 safety measures is a top priority of this City Council,” Burks said in an email. “Many of our residents do not have insurance or transportation. These kits will help reduce the spread of the virus and provide an opportunity for residents to know their status.”

The city will use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, to purchase the test kits. Initially, the council considered using $10,000, but it was increased tenfold during the meeting.

Clarkston will receive $4.7 million in ARPA funds across two payments — half last year and half in summer 2022. Cities have until the end of 2024 to spend it.

Clarkston Rapid Tests by Zachary Hansen

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