Partnership to make more COVID rapid tests available to Ohioans

The project aims to make tests available to underserved areas

More COVID-19 rapid tests will be available to Ohioans through a new partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and five other states.

Project Access COVID Tests is working to make tests available to households in underserved areas, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio’s initial allotment through the partnership is 175,000 tests.

“Ohio was one of the first states to ensure free rapid testing kits were widely available and has purchased 5.6 million kits, distributing them to schools, colleges and universities, libraries and local health departments,” said ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff. “As the rapid test shortage is felt across the nation, this partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation will increase access to tests for those at high risk and help reduce spread in our communities.”

ExploreRELATED: Ohio prioritizes COVID testing supplies for schools, universities amid high demand

The tests will be made available through home delivery. Communities eligible for the tests were based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and state data. To see if you live in an eligible community, visit

The five other states in the partnership include Illinois, Michigan, Maine, New Mexico and Arkansas. The Rockefeller Foundation plans to continue to the program and add other states, according to ODH.

“We need all-hands on-deck to get more tests to more people, as soon as possible,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “At a time when too many people cannot access COVID-19 testing, we are proud to bring together partners from across society to empower Americans with the support and information they need to keep themselves safe and healthy.”

Earlier this month ODH announced it was prioritizing testing supplies for schools, college and universities as the demand for COVID-19 testing soared in Ohio and across the U.S.

ExploreCOVID contact tracing rules change for schools, health departments

The state order 1.2 million proctored testing kits for January, but more than 800,000 were delayed by the manufacturer. Ohio decided to focus testing supplies on schools to help keeps students, teachers and staff in school and pause shipments to other community partners.

“Ongoing access to these tests helps ensure students and teachers can remain in the classroom,” read a media release issued earlier this month. “Because schools are experiencing significant new demand for tests as COVID-19 cases continue to climb, the state is temporarily adjusting its allocation strategy to ensure schools receive an adequate supply.”

Once supplies stabilize, Ohio plans to resume shipments to other partners.

About the Author