Rapid COVID-19 Test Kit Guidance for Residential Behavioral Health Providers

Rapid COVID-19 Test Kit Guidance for Residential Behavioral Health Providers

In conjunction with Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB), the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) has a limited supply of over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits to distribute to residential behavioral health providers. Additional supplies may become available but are not guaranteed.


  • Either a licensed and/or accredited residential behavioral health provider located in Baltimore City
  • OR behavioral health residential facilities which have coordinated COVID-19 care with BCHD’s Outbreak Investigation Team

 To request at-home COVID-19 test kits complete this form

 Who Should Be Tested?

The goal of the program is to provide test kits for residents and/or staff who may have symptoms of COVID-19, to quickly identify and isolate individuals who may be positive.

  • Test residents or staff who work directly with residents, who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include new-onset fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of smell or taste, sore throat, congestion, nausea/vomiting, and diarrhea.

Test kits may also be used for the following purposes:

  • Test close contacts of COVID-positive individuals within residential programs
    • Close contact is defined as anyone within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or longer during a 24-hour period.
  • Test individuals in quarantine after an exposure
    • Asymptomatic individuals who are up-to-date with COVID vaccination and remain in the residence after a high-risk exposure to COVID should be tested on day 5 after exposure.

BCHD does not currently recommend using this supply of tests for screening testing, given a limited supply. Providers are encouraged to pursue additional testing resources for population screening per CDC recommendations. (Link to CDC guidance for communal residential testing)

 Test Administration

  • Residents should self-administer the tests. Staff may proctor the testing process to ensure instructions are followed correctly, but SHOULD NOT conduct the test, process the test, or interpret the test result. IF staff conduct these activities, a CLIA waiver for COVID-19 testing is required.

MDH Website for CLIA waivers 

  • Follow the written instructions included with the test. Some types of tests might require more than one test over a 2-3 day period.

Test results

              -Residential facility managers should call Baltimore City Health Department’s COVID Outbreaks team with positive results. The Health Department can help identify potential outbreaks and assist the facility with their response.    

-Individuals are encouraged to report test results to the Maryland Department of Health

              If they do not have access to the internet, they can call the Baltimore City Health Department COVID Call Center at (443) 984-8650  

  More information can be found here:

 PDF icon Rapid Test Kit Guidance 2.25.22 BH providers.pdf

More information for individuals taking the test can be found here:

PDF icon BCHD home tests Congregate flier Flowflex.pdf

PDF icon BCHD home tests Congregate flier iHealth.pdf

PDF icon BCHD home tests Congregate flier Ihealth Spanish (1).pdf

PDF icon BCHD home tests Congregate flier Flowflex Spanish .pdf

Instructions for taking the test can be found here:

Flowflex Instructions: 

PDF icon Flowflex pacakge insert.pdf

PDF icon Flowflex package insert_Spanish.pdf

Link to iHealth instructions

PDF icon iHealth Package Insert_English.pdf

PDF icon iHealth package insert_Spanish.pdf