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New Orleans Health Department, NOFD to give away free rapid COVID tests

The new omicron variant now makes up 73% of COVID cases in the United States.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) announced, in coordination with the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), a giveaway of free at-home COVID-19 tests to anyone who needs them. This move is in preparation of an expected surge in omicron cases during the holiday season.

"Omicron is here and spreading rapidly.  The best defenses against severe disease are full vaccination with a booster, masking indoors, and regular testing.  We're proud to partner once again with NOFD to offer rapid COVID home tests to our residents.  Please test before your holiday gathering to keep your loved ones safe and healthy," said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director of NOHD.

 As part of this effort, the NOHD will be distributing at-home tests to give away at select fire stations, with giveaways on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. Several libraries in the area will participate in the effort beginning next week.

Due to the current high demand for testing, supplies are very limited, and each resident will only receive two test kits per person, according to the NOHD.

Chief Roman Nelson of the NOFD praised the effort. 

"Part of the mission of the New Orleans Fire Department, as a public safety agency, is to protect and save life and property. Our mission also includes striving to reduce the incidence of fire and the loss of life and injuries. Mayor Cantrell has often stressed that Public Health is Public Safety. Both share the same core goal of protecting the greater good. The NOFD is proud to assist in distributing COVID-19 testing kits to the public to help keep the New Orleans Community safe and informed during our battle with this pandemic."

New Orleanians can get these free, at-home COVID-19 tests at the following locations:

December 22 and 23 Fire stations point of distribution available for pick up from 8 am- 4 pm

Fire Station #1:                2920 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130         

Fire Station #29:              317 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Fire Station #36:              5401 Read Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70127             

Fire Station #40:              2500 General DeGaulle, New Orleans, LA 70114

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