Free COVID-19 Test Kits for Section 202 Sites Still Available
As COVID-related hospitalizations rise, take steps to ensure the health of older residents.
As summer ends and fall approaches, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking rising rates of COVID-19. According to CDC data, though rates remain far below pandemic-era levels, hospitalizations are rising by double-digit percentages. The increase along with the presence of new variants are increasing concerns about the virus and its effect heading into the fall.
With data showing a rise in COVID-related hospitalizations, it’s important to take steps to ensure the health and well-being of older residents. Regular testing is an important part of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and protecting those most vulnerable to serious infection, including older adults and people with disabilities. Testing can be used to ensure residents, staff, and others are not infected with the virus or, if they are, to quickly identify, quarantine, and appropriately treat infected persons. If you own or manage a Section 202 site, free rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits are still available through HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
How to Get Free Test Kits
To get the free kits, Section 202 owners and site-based staff can register to order test kits to be delivered directly to their properties on a weekly basis using the Health Partner Ordering Portal (HPOP). The portal can be found at www.hud.gov/COVID-testing.
Once you’ve set up a password for the system and signed in with the two-factor authentication process, you’ll begin the self-service registration process where you’ll enter “provider details.” In the context of the testing program, distribution sites are considered providers of test kits. In the field where you’re prompted to enter a provider name, it’s important that you enter the name of the organization you’re representing, the project name as recorded in HUD’s system. And in the “Partner” field, you’ll need to select HUD. Enter your site’s eight-digit iREMS Number in State PIN blank. This will ensure timely review of the registration process. For the “approximate number of patients/clients routinely served by the location” field, select “unknown” for each of the age groups listed. Select “Other” and input “U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development” for the “Setting where this location will administer products” field.
For registration, the last step will prompt you to upload any required documents. There are no required documents for sites participating in this program, so you can simply hit “Submit” at the bottom of this screen to complete your registration. Once you’ve completed the self-service registration, you’ll receive a notification stating that your request is “Pending Approval.”
After completing the registration, you’ll have the ability to order only the number of test kits that you can store and distribute without waste. The kits are delivered directly to properties weekly. Since orders are input on a weekly basis, you should order only the number of test kits that you estimate you’ll be able to distribute in a one-week period.
The minimum order is one package, or 45 test kits; there are two tests in each kit. The maximum order is 2,000 packages, or 90,000 test kits. Once you’ve ordered, you can expect deliveries within seven to 10 calendar days of order submission. For storage, you should plan to store test kits at room temperature (59–77 degrees F); the shelf life for these test kits is 16 months.