Summer vacation isn’t over yet, but as we approach the hectic back-to-school rush, we want to put something other than school supplies on every parent’s radar – COVID-19 tests. They’re free through the Health Department’s Pediatric Partnerships team in time for the start of the school year.

While the nation’s Public Health Emergency ended in May, it’s important to take precautions and protect our kids from COVID-19, especially as indoor gatherings ramp up when the school year begins. COVID-19 is not over. That’s why every family should be equipped with tests at the ready if someone is exposed to COVID-19 or symptoms begin.

Get rapid antigen at-home tests

Pick up free rapid antigen at-home test kits at these Health Department resource hubs:

  • Bethany Baptist Church, 5747 Warrington Ave., 19143
  • Mi Salud Wellness Center, 200 E. Wyoming Ave., 19120
  • Mt. Enon Baptist Church, 500 Snyder Ave., 19148
  • Shoppes at La Salle, 5301 Chew Ave., 19138
  • Whitman Plaza, 330 W. Oregon Ave., 19148

Resource hubs are open Monday through Friday. While you don’t need an appointment to pick up at-home tests, daily schedules vary at resource hubs. Visit our testing calendar for more details.

Test in threes

Remember to test in threes! The virus can take some time after exposure to reach a level that turns a test positive, so test three times – every other day. During that time, it’s important to wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask or stay home to keep other people safe. If you receive positive test results, you’ll be able to take the right steps to protect yourself, your family, and your community (PDF).

Respiratory health is for kids

Pediatric Partnerships is focusing on respiratory health for our kids in other ways, too. The HEPA filter program provides schools and childcare centers with air purifiers. It also provides a year’s supply of protective HEPA filters to boost air quality in classrooms and childcare centers where kids spend most of their days. Filtering the air to make it cleaner reduces student and staff absences due to respiratory diseases like COVID-19. With fewer absences, the Pediatric Partnership’s Air Purifier with HEPA filter initiative can help kids do better in school.

Free masks and hand sanitizer

Earlier this summer, smoke from Canadian wildfires helped reinforce the importance of masks as tools to help people breathe easier on days when air quality is poor. When picking up COVID-19 tests, be sure to ask for free masks and hand sanitizer, too.

We’re providing test kits, masks, and hand sanitizer at our resource hubs and at these school events:

Date Time Location Address
Wednesday, August 23 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bright Hope Baptist Church 1601 N. 12th St., 19122
Wednesday, August 23 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Catholic Community Services 1926 Grant Ave., 19115
Friday, August 25 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ASPIRA Education Campus 6301 N. 2nd St., 19120
Friday, August 25 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tilden Middle School 6601 Elmwood Ave., 19142
Saturday, August 26 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Moss Playground and Athletic Club 5700 Torresdale Ave., 19135
Saturday, August 26 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. James Logan School 1700 Lindley Ave., 19141
Wednesday, August 30 10 a.m. to noon Southwark School 1835 S. 9th St., 19148
Sunday, September 10 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Roosevelt Elementary School 430 E. Washington Lane, 19144
Saturday, September 16 noon to 3 p.m. Tilden Middle School 6601 Elmwood Ave., 19142

Since the federal government’s program to distribute COVID-19 tests through the mail is over, the Health Department is helping to fill that gap. Tests can be expensive. While some insurance companies might still reimburse you, why not get them completely free? Ten tests could cost you as much as $80 at a pharmacy. Save that money and spend it on something your kids might enjoy, like movie tickets, or some new kicks for school.