Your Omicron Strategy: The Latest on Masks and COVID Testing
Omicron & Mask Strategy
Cloth masks are stylish, but many health experts are now recommending that we upgrade our mask choice. Surgical masks (the disposable ones) or N95/KN95 masks, three-ply masks all offer higher degree of protection. You can learn more about masking strategy in this article from NPR.
One note or warning - there are a lot of fake N95/KN95 masks out there, so don't order the first thing you see on Amazon. Reputable masks can be found from 3M, Honeywell, Hope Health Supply or Demetech websites, or at Project N95. As of this morning, N95 masks were available at Yes! Organic Market in Cleveland Park.
DC COVID Testing and Home Test Kits
We are fortunate in DC to have options for obtaining free test kits for both PCR and Rapid Antigen Test Kits. These tests do different things, but both are useful tools in detecting COVID.
PCR kit - an at home test kit in which you put the sample into a drop box for processing and get results in 2-5 days.
Rapid antigen test – an at home test in which results appear in 15 minutes.
Tests are available at one of DC Health’s sites which change from day to day and are updated on the website. Bring your DC driver’s license or ID card to pick up a test.
Libraries. You can pick up Rapid Antigen test kits at many DC Library branches, including the Cleveland Park Library. These are distributed in a box, with 2 tests in each box. Each person is entitled to two boxes at a time
Fire Stations. Antigen tests are also available some fire stations, including Engine 31 at 4930 Connecticut Ave (near Fessenden Street across from Politics and Prose).
If you scroll down the following linked pages (PCR kit, Rapid antigen test) you will find a map and real time supply information for each kind of test.
Anecdotal experience on obtaining at home kits is that there is little to no wait. While long lines made the news last week, that has subsided, and you should be able to get your tests and be on your way in a matter of minutes. If you have difficulty walking or standing, or your health otherwise makes it difficult to wait in line, most sites will allow you to move to the front. Simply ask the person in charge.
The Village will also receive a very limited number of antigen tests on Monday. We will reserve these tests for those that cannot go to receive the antigen tests from the library. Please call the Village office at 202-615-5853 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an antigen test kit.
For more information on testing, when testing should be done, differences in the types of tests, etc., please visit the DC Coronavirus Testing site.