Community Distributes Thousands of COVID-19 Self-Test Kits Via Drive-Thru Events
Gila River Indian News
With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the Community’s continued focus on prevention strategies to reduce the spread of the virus, thousands of at-home COVID-19 self-test kits were distributed to GRIC members on Jan. 28 and 29.
Each district held a drive-thru style distribution of the home kits, which included personal protective equipment (PPE) along with other basic essentials. Coordinators and staff from each of the district service centers along with the Pride Group volunteers assisted in the drive-thru distribution.
“The Community is at the forefront, ahead of the curve, to get at-home tests and KN95 masks to our Community,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, who was present at the District 3 distribution site. “Through the Community’s partnership with the Biden/Harris administration, we secured the supply of tests and masks for the Community, which shows how well we’re working with our federal partners in getting these items distributed.”
Gov. Lewis also expressed his gratitude to the District Center staff for stepping up to ensure the distributions were efficient and smooth for everyone.
In order to provide an adequate supply to everyone, each car was given two QuickVue at-home self-test kits along with information on how to use the tests.
Additionally, a video was provided by the Gila River Healthcare Corporation on how to use the at-home kits, along with information for proper use of the test supplies and how to interpret the results. Users were walked through each portion of the self-test from taking a nasal-swab, placing it into a solution and using a test strip to obtain a result. In order to make sense of the results, individuals were shown how to correctly identify a positive, negative or invalid test.
A positive test will show a blue and pink line on the test strip. A single blue line means a negative result, while a single pink line means the test is invalid. In the event a test result is invalid, it is important to re-take the self-test utilizing a new at-home kit.
If a test yields a positive result, GRHC advises the individual to seek medical advice, including a period of self-quarantining and other preventive treatment to keep from spreading the virus to other people.
“It’s fairly easy to use,” said Erma Antone, District 3 Service Center Coordinator, who shared her own experience with a self-test kit that provided results in 15-minutes. “I think that we’re very lucky to be afforded the privilege of being given the tests.”
After the initial drive-through event on Jan. 28th, a second distribution took place the following day in Districts 1 to 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The drive-thru system kept exposure to germs at a minimum while allowing Community members to receive test kits with ease. In total, 450 kits were available at every district for distribution each day.
Many service centers boasted a 30-second wait time to drive up and receive a kit. Despite gusting winds, service staff and members of the Pride Group stayed available to issue kits for everyone who sought one.
Echoing Gov. Lewis’ sentiments, District 3 Service Center Coordinator Erma Antone said, “We’ve seen an increase in numbers and families affected, so we are very fortunate to get these at-home test kits today, because you can’t find them.”
For families of elders, homebound individuals, and those in quarantine, service center staff made sure to deliver a kit to their homes on Jan 28 and 29. This measure ensured that no one was left out and kept the center staff safe from possible exposure over the two days.