Hundreds of free COVID-19 rapid test kits in Tempe given out within hours

The city of Tempe distributed hundreds of free at-home COVID-19 rapid test kits at multiple locations within a matter of hours.

Escalante Multi-Generational Center, Westside Multi-Generational Center, North Tempe Multi-Generational Center, and Tempe Public Library handed out the tests within a span of three hours.

The city only received 2,400 test kits from Maricopa County due to a nationwide test shortage. Visitors will only be allowed one kit per household and will be handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Tempe resident Gall Phalen was one of many who stood in lines Saturday morning for a kit.

"I’m really fortunate to be able to get one," Phalen said.

600 test kits were handed out at the multi-generational center on Bridalwealth Street.

Keith Burke with the city of Tempe says they had hoped for more, because the 600 were gone quickly.

"Went pretty fast," Burke said. "[At the] library we had over two hundred kits that went in half an hour, so people were in line prior to us opening at 9:00."

The rapid home tests have been hard to get amid the recent surge. PCR test lines have stretched for hours in some locations, like at the Embry Health site in Tempe. Three hour long wait times for tests were reported on Friday.

The at-home tests provide another way to get answers.

"This is nice and handy and convenient, and I wish everybody could get them," Phalen said.

More info:

RELATED: Arizona COVID-19 testing: Where you can go and how to make an appointment

MORE: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations in your area

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily

Continued Coverage

For the latest local news, download the FOX 10 News app.

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: