There was a long line of cars at the police department in Middleborough, Massachusetts, Tuesday night with residents picking up free rapid COVID tests.
The site was scheduled to be open from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. -- but by 5:30 p.m., all 1,300 rapid COVID tests were already gone.
“We’re doing a New Years Eve party and we want to be everybody to be safe,” said one resident.
“They had it nice and organized and it was safe. It wasn’t a free-for-all,” another said.
Middleborough is one of 102 communities in Massachusetts receiving the kits through a state program.
“It’s wonderful for us to see the community getting together, wanting to test, wanting to do the right thing,” said Kayla Smith, the Middleborough Health Officer.
People have faced multi-hour waits for testing across Massachusetts, and pharmacies and supermarkets statewide have been sold out of rapid tests.
Tuesday, the Biden Administration promised more help is on the way, with half a billion rapid tests going to people who request them.
“That’s something that I’m glad that President Biden has allocated more funding towards," said Dr. Michael Misialek of Newton Wellesley Hospital.
Misialek says testing is so important, especially now with people gathering for the holidays.
“The fact that they go quickly…I’m optimistic and hopeful that people will use them but I worry that we still don’t have enough tests out there and we need even more being distributed,” he said.
For residents in Middleborough who were lucky enough to gran one Tuesday night, just knowing they have a test to fall back on is comforting.
“You don’t want to get COVID," said Joanne Fromm. "You want to stay healthy and test yourself."