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:
|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.