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Where to receive free COVID test kits, rapid testing this week

An iHealth COVID-19 home test.
iHealth Labs

The City of Buffalo will distribute 11,000 free COVID-19 at-home antigen test kits at five community centers Tuesday morning, from 9 a.m.-noon, or earlier if supplies run out.

In a release, Mayor Byron Brown said each kit contains two tests and will be given out to city residents only on a first-come, first-served basis, for both drive-through and walk-up distribution. Proof of residency will be required, with a driver’s license or utility bill to be accepted.

The kits will be available at:

The Belle Center, 104 Maryland St.
Delavan Grider Community Center, 877 East Delavan Ave.
JFK Community Center, 114 Hickory St.
Northwest Buffalo Community Center, 155 Lawn Ave. (This is also a rapid state testing site.)
Tosh Collins Community Center, 35 Cazenovia St.

Brown said 1,500 kits are being allocated to each location and another 3,500 will be distributed by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and through the city's Senior Centers.

Erie County said Friday that the state has so far provided 40,000 testing kits. The county Health Department changed its original plan to distribute these kits through the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system and drive-through sites due to library staffing considerations and weather conditions.

Test kits were sent directly into towns, villages and cities for distribution. Quantities were determined based on municipal population.

Test kits are also being distributed at the following sites in Erie County this week:

Akron Village Hall, 21 Main St. — Jan. 11-12, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Alden Town Hall, 3311 Wende Rd. — Jan. 15, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Green Lake Park, 200 North Lake Dr., Orchard Park (enter off Thorn Ave.; tests kits and N95 masks to be distributed)— Jan 11, 10 a.m.-noon
Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Rd., Amherst — Jan. 9, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Hamburg Senior Community Center, 4540 Southwestern Blvd. — Jan. 11, 3 p.m.–7 p.m.
Lackawanna Senior Center, 230 Martin Road — Jan. 11, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Newstead Senior Center, 5691 Cummings Rd. — Jan 11, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. and Jan 12, 1 p.m.–6 p.m.
Tonawanda High School, 600 Fletcher St. (test kits and N95 masks to be distributed) — Jan. 13, 5 p.m.–7 p.m.
Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks and Recreation Office (near entrance to Lincoln Park), 299 Decatur Rd. — Jan. 9, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.

The state has also established a new testing site in Western New York:

SUNY Fredonia Community Testing Site, Jewett Hall, Fredonia — Beginning Jan. 13, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Testing during the same daily hours began Jan. 7 at the University at Buffalo Center for Tomorrow on Flint Road.

A pop-up rapid testing site has also been set up at the Tallchief Territory Native Pride Travel Plaza, immediately off Exit 58 of the I-90, in Irving. Free testing will be conducted as long as needed during the hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday.

Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month per person on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday.

WBFO's Mike Desmond and NPR's Jonathan Franklin contributed to this story.

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