NYC museums and libraries are now handing out free at-home COVID tests

The kits will be distributed across 14 landmark cultural sites.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
At-home COVID-19 test
Photograph: Shutterstock

You'll know be able to pick up more from local museums than just a book from the gift shop.

Starting this week, the New York City Test and Trace Corps—a group of doctors, public health professionals and community advocates working to reverse the COVID-19 outbreak across the city—will be distributing free at-home COVID test kits across 14 landmark cultural sites and 27 branches of the public library system.

The give outs will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to one per person. They will also only be distributed until supplies last. 

"Throughout the pandemic, New York City’s libraries – trusted public institutions in all five boroughs – have strongly supported the City’s ongoing work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting New Yorkers with the resources they need to keep themselves and their communities healthy and safe," said the New York Public, Brooklyn Public and Queens Public Libraries in an official statement announcing the news. "Ensuring at-home tests are readily available is an important part of this fight, and we are pleased to support these efforts. We hope to see New Yorkers at our branches to pick up a test…and a book." (Side note: here are five other things that you probably didn't know you could get for free at your local library.)

The American Museum of Natural History, the El Museo del Barrio and the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan are among the participating parties. In Queens, folks can pick up kits at the Queens Botanical Garden and Flushing Town Hall, among other spots. Seven Brooklyn Public Library branches have also signed up for the program, as have the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Wave Hill, the Staten Island Children's Museum and the Staten Island Zoo.

You can check out a full list of participating museums and libraries complete with hours of operation right here

As stated by the libraries themselves, in the past few years, cultural sites of all types have stepped up to the plate when it came to battling the pandemic. Museums and libraries morphed into test centers, vaccination sites and more in an effort to help New Yorkers try and lead a semi-normal life. This latest effort is another welcome one from some of the city's most famous landmarks.

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