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Marion County offering at-home COVID testing challenge

The Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge provides access to free, rapid COVID-19 test kits that people can administer at home.

INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County is encouraging residents in targeted ZIP codes to test themselves for COVID-19 on a regular basis to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge provides access to free, rapid COVID-19 test kits that people can administer at home.

If residents use the tests twice a week, regardless of symptoms, they can share their results and take a survey to earn up to $35 in gift cards.

"While vaccination remains the strongest tool we have to combat the pandemic, free, rapid, self-administered testing will give community members one more way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Virginia Caine, the director of MCPHD. "Anyone can just swab the front of their nose and perform this test in the privacy of their home to see results within 10 minutes and make more informed choices about their day."

The target ZIP codes were identified by the Marion County Public Health Department based on their high rates of COVID-19 cases, lower-than-average rates of vaccination and a concentration of essential workers. 

Eligible Zip codes for the Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge

46222, 46201, 46218, 46208, 46224, 46235, 46202, 46241, 46203, 46226, 46204, 46205, 46227, 46221, 46219, 46225, 46260, 46229, 46254, 46107, 46216, 46240, and 46268. 

The test packages contain four kits, with eight tests total. One person can take two tests per week, for four weeks. Individuals who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for the challenge. But anyone over the age of 2 is welcome to participate. The testing challenge lasts for at least a month, or until all tests are used. 

The Say Yes! COVID Test program has a goal of reaching 125,000 people in Marion County. 

"We're hoping that this may be a critical tool to identify those individuals who are unaware that they're infected, so we can get them out of that social environment where they may be infecting others unknowingly,” said Caine. 

Quidel, the same company that made the first rapid flu tests used by doctors' offices in the United States, also makes the tests for the MCPHD challenge.

How to get your test kit

Marion County residents can log on to COVIDhometestindy.org to order test kits for doorstep delivery. Test kits will also be available for pickup locally at the following locations:  

  • MCPHD Northeast District Health Office: 6042 E. 21st St.
  • MCPHD Action Health Center: 2868 Pennsylvania St.
  • MCPHD Northwest District Health Office: 6940 N. Michigan Road
  • MCPHD Hasbrook Building: 3838 N. Rural St.
  • MCPHD South District Health Office: 7551 Shelby Street 

Rapid, home testing can disrupt the spread of COVID-19 when people are infected, but don’t yet have symptoms. Testing twice a week offers the best chance of identifying a COVID-19 infection and allowing the positive individual the chance to isolate before they can spread the virus. 

Click here for more information about the Say Yes! COVID Test Program.