Dayton library responds to concerns at-home COVID tests already expired

A Dayton Daily News reporter visited the main branch downtown, obtained an at-home test and confirmed the listed expiration date on the package is Sept. 10, 2021.
Caption
A Dayton Daily News reporter visited the main branch downtown, obtained an at-home test and confirmed the listed expiration date on the package is Sept. 10, 2021.

Credit: Josh Sweigart

Credit: Josh Sweigart

Dayton Metro Library officials say state health officials assure them COVID-19 tests available to pick up at library locations are good to use even though labels on them say they expired earlier this month.

The Dayton Daily News contacted the library after hearing concerns from readers, and confirming some tests being provided have expiration dates that list them as already expired.

Rachel Gut, deputy executive director of the library system, provided the newspaper with an email from Ben Anderson, deputy state testing lead for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 task force.

“The expiration dates of these tests have been extended by the manufacturer,” the email says, providing a link to a company website stating the manufacturer has extended the expiration date of BinaxNOW Home Tests by an additional 90 days.

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The Sept. 22 email from Anderson also provides an image for a sticker library officials can put on tests saying the expiration dates are extended.

Gut sent an email to library employees Thursday.

“We have had a few patrons question the expiration dates on the COVID Test Kits, which in some cases, have passed,” she wrote. “However, according to this document linked below, all expiration dates have been advanced by six months, so the kits should still be good.”

The email links to a letter from Abbott Laboratories listing lot numbers and their new expiration dates.

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Cynthia Spearman said she picked up an at-home test Wednesday at the Madden Hills branch as a precaution in case anyone in her family needed it. But when she examined the package, she noticed it had an expiration date of Sept. 10, 2021.

“From the time they started passing them out, they were expired,” said Spearman, a trained clinical laboratory scientist. “That expiration date is on there for a reason.”

A Dayton Daily News reporter visited the main branch downtown, obtained an at-home test and confirmed the listed expiration date on the package is Sept. 10, 2021. It’s unclear what the new expiration date is because the lot number listed on the box does not appear on the Abbott laboratory listing provided by Gut.

The Dayton Daily News has reached out to Ohio Department of Health officials for comment.