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Vermont’s 175K free rapid test kits snatched up within hours

January 12, 2022 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — All 175,000 free rapid COVID-19 test kits that became available Wednesday for Vermonters to order online were taken by the afternoon, Gov. Phil Scott’s office said.

Households were allowed to order two kits containing a total of four tests that will be delivered to 87,500 households over the next one to two weeks, Scott’s office said. The rapid test delivery program is a partnership with National Institutes of Health and Amazon and comes at a time when the state, with a population of more than 645,000, has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases. The website for ordering opened at 10 a.m. and the supply of tests was snatched up by 2:45 p.m., officials said.

“As expected, demand was very high and shows how much Vermonters understand the importance of testing as a way to protect their health and the people around them,” Scott said in a statement.

Scott said he knew the limited supply would go quickly and said the pilot project will help inform future decisions. Another 75,000 test kits are expected to become available in a second phase of the program but a timeline has not been announced. The administration will continue to work to get more tests for Vermonters as supply allows, his office said.

Scott has said he hopes rapid tests will be readily available at local pharmacies for lower prices in the near future.