Bridging The Gaps organization distributes COVID-19 tests in Texarkana

TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) – Many testing sites for COVID-19 are overrun with residents who want to know if they are infected with the virus. The state of Arkansas has taken another step to ease some of the pressure on these testing sites.

Bridging The Gaps of Arkansas in Texarkana has partnered with the Arkansas Department of Health to distribute free COVID-19 test kits to residents.

Johnny Riley with “Bridging The Gaps” says interest in kits is high. Riley said his organization received nearly 300 kits on Tuesday, Jan.12, and by mid-morning the next day they were out.

“This morning in about 13 minutes the other 90 I had left were gone and we’re looking to collect more tomorrow by 10 hours,” Riley said.

Elizabeth Kirk says she was able to get two kits.

“I’m just trying to get some tests for my family that have been exposed,” she said.

The state of Arkansas is expected to receive 1.5 million COVID-19 rapid home test kits. Governor Asa Hutchinson said the tests will cost the state around $ 10 million with funds already existing in the COVID-19 response budget.

“I especially think of people without assurance that this is the best way to be educated and find out if you have the virus or not,” Kirk said.

Test kits are also available at local public libraries and Arkansas public health departments. There is no cost for these test kits.

“Our goal is very simple. We have to keep people safe, we are not going to get involved in the politics of that. Our goal is very simple, we want people to be safe and one thing is that in order to be safe you have to know if you have the virus or not, ”said Riley.

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