BCHD Restructuring COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution Program for Community-Based Organizations

BCHD Restructuring COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution Program for Community-Based Organizations    

Media Contact: Greg Padgett, Greg.Padgett@baltimorecity.gov 


BALTIMORE, MD. (January 28, 2022) – Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) is modifying the COVID-19 test kit distribution program for community-based organizations (CBOs).  The goal of the COVID-19 test kit community distribution program, which started in late November 2021, is to provide free COVID-19 at-home test kits to individuals in communities with inequities in COVID-19 outcomes.  

BCHD is closing the current application for CBOs to request 60 COVID-19 test kits per organization directly from the health department.  BCHD will continue to review the applications of all programs that applied through January 27, 2022, and eligible programs currently on the waitlist will be informed when they can pick up COVID-19 test kits as supplies are made available.

The existing CBO program has distributed over 13,000 test kits to over 200 CBOs in the last two months. “We are very grateful to those CBOs for supporting this program.  Our community-based organizations have played a vital role in helping to distribute test kits to our priority communities and those with the greatest need,” said Baltimore City Health Department Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “The new program will continue to place emphasis on getting testing kits to the most under-resourced throughout our City,” she said.  

To better address the shifting needs of the community, Baltimore City Health Department’s new CBO distribution program will focus on providing a larger quantity of test kits to selected CBOs, who will then distribute test kits directly to the community and other partners. Through an application process, approximately 30 CBOs are anticipated to be selected to partner with the Health Department to distribute test kits to the community. Selected CBOs will be geographically spread throughout the city and those representing VALUES communities will be prioritized. The VALUES communities, or those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 or with barriers to vaccination and testing, including African American communities are:

  • Older Adults
  • Latinx community members
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Orthodox Jewish community members
  • Young men of color between the ages of 18-24
  • Pregnant and lactating persons
  • Immigrant community members
  • People with disabilities
  • Pediatrics
  • LGBTQ+ individuals

Application criteria include the ability to host test kit distribution events, provide education and support to individuals to sign up for free test kits through www.COVIDtests.gov, and the potential to distribute test kits to additional partners.  Application materials will be posted the week of January 31, 2022. More information can be found here: https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/testing/covid-19-test-kit-distribution-program

Distribution of test kits directly into the hands of individuals remains a core component of the Health Department’s COVID-19 testing strategy.  BCHD will continue prioritizing access to testing and COVID-19 test kits for those who might not otherwise have access to COVID-19 testing. 

Additional distribution events for COVID-19 test kits are continuing. There will be free COVID-19 test kit distribution events this Saturday, January 29, at Enoch Pratt Free Library branches, at 10 AM, while supplies last. Additionally, the federal government is offering every home in the United States four free at-home COVID-19 tests.  You can place an order for your household at www.covidtests.gov 

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Baltimore City Health Department Selects Community Covid-19 Test Kit Distribution Sites

BALTIMORE, MD. (April 14, 2022) – The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) is excited to announce additional COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution partners. Residents can find a list of COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution partners on the Health Department’s website. Organizations will receive a supply of COVID-19 at-home test kits for distribution to the community and will advertise distribution plans. Organizations were selected via an application process that considered representation across BCHD’s COVID-19 VALUES communities and geographic coverage across the city. 

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