King County buys additional 400K COVID-19 at-home test kits

After a week King County announced that it had purchased 300,000 COVID-19 at-home test kits, the county said on Wednesday that it bought an additional 400,000, bringing the total to 700,000 kits.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said the first 100,000 kits are expected to arrive the second week of January.

The county’s distribution of the kits will prioritize areas of the county that are more needed.

"Our goal is to primarily to prevent infections, to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed," Constantine told FOX 13 News.

RELATED: King County buys 300,000 home COVID tests amid surge

Public Health – Seattle & King County is working on a distribution plan for when supplies arrive. Officials said they plan to get the tests to community-based organizations, community health centers, senior centers, libraries, and other congregate locations. 

 "We’ll be working with partners to get these kits into the community as soon as they arrive, but demand will clearly outpace the supply. As state and federal resources are distributed, we’re doing everything we can to increase testing capacity as quickly as possible," said Constantine. "With this surge in cases, we must do all we can to expand access to testing across the region. These additional 400,000 kits will help ensure residents have the tools they need to protect themselves, their families, and the community."

RELATED: Biden pledges 500M free at-home COVID-19 tests, more hospital aid to fight omicron

The county said it plans to continue to buy kits from the open market to increase community testing capacity, in addition to the anticipated supplies from the federal government.

"700,000 kits is a lot, but of course in a county were there (is) more than 2 million people it is still not enough to do the job. We are asking for federal and state help hoping for that help," Constantine said.

For more testing information in King County, click here.

On Tuesday, King County announced that it opened a fourth quarantine isolation site, located in Auburn. Constantine told FOX 13 News that the isolation centers are filling up.

FOX 13's Matt Markovich contributed to this report.

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