Philly Health Dept. offers free COVID tests to event organizers for distribution

The effort is designed to concentrate on those in areas suffering disproportionately from COVID or people at high risk of transmitting COVID.

A health worker grabs at-home COVID-19 test kits

File photo: A health worker grabs at-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out. (David Dermer/AP)

The city of Philadelphia has launched a new effort to get COVID test kits into the hands of special event organizers. Organizers would distribute the tests to attendees to make it easier for people going to large events to get tested.

The testing kits will be available to organizers for use either before or after their events.

Health Department officials in a statement said anyone hosting an event where attendees have a high risk of contracting COVID should offer pre-event testing. If having an event creates a higher risk of being exposed, tests should be given out to be used three to five days after the event.

Priority will be given to those in areas of the city that have suffered disproportionately from COVID, or events drawing a high number of people who are at high risk or presenting a high risk of COVID transmission.

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After filling out an application, event organizers will be able to pick up two tests per event attendee and will have to distribute them in the manner described in their application. The application will also offer an opportunity to pick up and distribute free surgical masks.

Event organizers are urged to fill out the form as soon as possible, because review will take about two weeks.

There are 20,000 test kits dedicated for the program, but that number could increase depending on how many event organizers request them.

Numbers from the health department show the city is averaging 400 new COVID cases per day with 142 people hospitalized as of Monday.

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