Per Montgomery County:
Test kits and masks are free to Montgomery County residents. Pick up rapid test kits and masks at Montgomery County Public Library locations, during all open hours, except these branches: Correctional Facility, Maggie Nightingale (Poolesville), and Noyes. See library locations and hours. Bring proof of residency. Examples include a driver’s license, identification, or bill that shows you are a resident of Montgomery County.
Kits and masks are available on a table or cart near the library service desk. Residents can get two test kits and four adult N95 masks per person per day. Each kit contains two tests. If you are unable to access COVID test kits or masks due to a disability, you can request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act by contacting 240-777-2982. Request rapid test kits for your organization.
How to use your rapid test kit
Rapid tests produce results 15 minutes after you complete all steps.
- Read the instructions before beginning.
- Follow the steps to complete your test.
- Self-report your results.
If you have questions about the test itself, visit the manufacturer’s website. If you have questions about your test results, contact your healthcare provider.
BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test:
- Written instructions – Binax (PDF)
- More about BinaxNOW Antigen COVID-19 Tests – manufacturer website
Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Test:
- Written instructions – Celltrion DiaTrust (PDF)
- Video instructions – Celltrion DiaTrust
- Companion app – Celltrion Diatrust
- More about Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Tests – manufacturer website
Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test:
- Written instructions – Flowflex (PDF) | Quick reference instructions – Flowflex (PDF)
- More about Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests – manufacturer website
iHealth Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test:
- Written instructions – iHealth (PDF)
- Video instructions – iHealth
- Expiration dates extended by 3 months for iHealth tests labeled with expirations dates on or before 2022-09-29
- More about iHealth Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Tests – manufacturer website
About our N95 masks
We offer adult-size ZYB-11 masks (a brand of N95 mask). We do not have child-size masks.
N95, KN95 and KF94 respirators, or masks, provide higher levels of protection against COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rapid COVID-19 tests
- Also called antigen tests
- Samples collected with a nasal swab
- Detect certain proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19
- No laboratory needed
- Get results in 15 minutes. That helps detect disease sooner, decrease spread faster and start contact tracing earlier.
PCR COVID-19 tests
- Also called molecular tests or polymerase chain reaction tests
- Samples collected via a nasal swab
- Detect genetic material specific to the virus that causes COVID-19
- Considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19 detection. They are often more accurate than rapid tests, especially for people without symptoms.
- Performed in a laboratory
- Get results in 2 to 3 days. When the demand for testing is high, PCR results can take a week or longer. That leads to delays in decreasing the spread of the virus.
When should the rapid COVID-19 test be used?
COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests are intended for the detection of the virus
- within 7 days of symptom onset, or
- after possible exposure to COVID-19.
If you are not fully vaccinated, test immediately if you find out you are a close contact. If your test result is negative, test again 5 to 7 days after your last exposure, or immediately if symptoms develop.
How are samples collected?
In both the rapid test and PCR test, samples are collected using a nasal swab. A swab is inserted about one inch into each nostril, one side at a time. The swab is then rotated around the inside of each nostril, approximately five times, to gather mucous.
Who should get a COVID-19 test?
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19, including those who are fully vaccinated.
- People without symptoms of COVID-19 such as:
- People have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 at least 5 days after they last had close contact with the person. The date of the last close contact is considered day 0.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, such as attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have been asked or referred to get testing by their school, workplace, healthcare provider, or state or local health department.
How accurate are my rapid test results?
Rapid tests are most effective one to five days after symptoms start. Positive results are usually highly accurate. Negative results may need to be confirmed with a PCR test.
What does it mean if I have a positive rapid test result?
You are likely contagious. A positive test means it is very likely you have COVID-19 and could spread it to others. Even if you have no symptoms and feel good, assume you are contagious.
Contact your healthcare provider. Seek follow-up care from your healthcare provider as soon as possible, as you may need more testing and treatment. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on your test results, medical history and symptoms. Ask your provider if you are eligible for treatment, such as monoclonal antibodies (mAb). Monoclonal antibody treatment is not a cure, but it may lessen symptom severity. Learn more about eligibility for free monoclonal antibody treatment and other services.
Self-isolate at home and stay away from others for at least 5 days. See detailed isolation and quarantine guidance.
Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was less than 6 feet away from you for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
What does it mean if I have a negative rapid test result?
A negative test result means you do probably not have COVID-19
- if you took the test while you had symptoms, and
- followed all instructions carefully.
It is possible for a test to give a negative result in some people who have COVID-19. This is called a false negative. You could also test negative if you tested too early in your infection. In this case, you could test positive later during your illness.
What should I do if my rapid test result comes back negative, but I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and isolate until your symptoms resolve, regardless of your test results. A PCR test is recommended if your symptoms continue after you got a negative rapid test. This is especially true if you had a direct exposure (meaning closer than 6 feet to someone for more than 15 minutes) to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Can I use a COVID-19 antigen self-test for work/school reinstatement or travel purposes?
No. Although rapid tests may be accepted by individual employers, schools, or airlines, the rapid tests we distribute are not supervised. We are unable to provide copies of rapid test results or proof of rapid testing for travel or return to work/school.
Do I need to return this test to receive my results?
No. This is a rapid test that will produce results for you 15 minutes after you complete all steps.
Is there an age limit on who can use this test? Can it be used for children?
COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests are intended for use by people ages 15 years and older (self-collected) or 2 years and older (collected with adult assistance).
Where can I find more information about COVID-19 testing options in Montgomery County?
See more COVID-19 testing options in Montgomery County.