Seminole County hands out free COVID-19 rapid tests during the holidays

County also providing COVID-19 vaccine, officials say

Rapid test giveaway

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. – Seminole County leaders are helping people feel safe during the holidays by offering free COVID-19 at home test kits.

Officials said the county handed out 50,000 rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits on Saturday at Winter Springs High School.

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Mike Spraggins waited in line to pick up a kit. He said it would give his family peace of mind ahead of the holidays.

“We’re going to be traveling to Canada soon and this is one thing that helps keep the whole family safe,” Spraggins said.

Emergency manager Alan Harris said the county got the free tests from the state, with each kit worth $150. Harris said they come with virtual proctor instructions that meet travel requirements.

“You can download an app and as you take the test there’s actually a proctor, that way it’s a legitimate test that’s authorized by travel agent and by travel industry,” Harris said.

Harris said the kits are getting results for those who may be traveling home for the holidays or welcoming families into their homes.

“This is the holiday season. People are starting to travel. A lot of folks in the line are very happy to get the test kits before they start traveling or to test some family members as they come in. It’s a good safety mechanism,” Harris said.

The county also provided COVID-19 vaccines at the event. Harris said they’re seeing a higher demand for the shots as more cases of the Omicron variant are confirmed across the country.

“Our appointments today have been doubled and they’re still booked out for today. We have no additional appointments for today,” he said.

As for people like Spraggins who picked up the tests, they said this will help them feel safer as they celebrate the season with loved ones.

“I think it’s a great service that they provide for us. It helps to keep us safe,” Spraggins said.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!