By Rachel Menitoff

BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — At-home COVID-19 test kits have been so hard to find, Andrew Ament showed up before dawn at a Harford County distribution event Thursday to get one.

With he and his wife turning 74 years old in a few months, Ament wasn’t taking any chances. So, at 5:25 a.m. he was the very first person in line outside the Harford County Public Library.

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“Even if you think you have it, you don’t have it, It’s just the uncertainty at our age that if we catch something, it could be our last days,” Ament said.

It’s a good thing Ament got there early. With the library handing out COVID-19 test kits, people lined up and waited for hours—well before the library’s doors opened at 10 a.m.

The library was distributing more than 1,000 free test kits across its 11 branches. Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library, said she just wishes the library had more to give out.

“If one of my prayers would be answered, there would be endless supplies of tests for everyone of all ages,” Hastler said. “… Unfortunately, that’s not happening yet.”

Ament was not the only person who arrived early.

David Jennings said sickness has hit his family particularly hard. So, he got in line well ahead of time because he was worried that if he didn’t, he might walk away emptyhanded.

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“They’re nonexistent,” Jennings said. “Every pharmacy you go to has a sign on their front door, ‘No rapid tests available.’”

Even for people who aren’t showing any symptoms, an at-home test kit is an insurance policy.

“I have four grandchildren in school, and the schools in Harford County have been hit hard with this,” Elaine Sumlin said. “It’s nice to have on hand if somebody gets sick.”

The kits were given out on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of one per person.

In case residents were unable to get a test kit Thursday, the state is opening a new testing site outside University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health in Bel Air on Friday.

It will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week, including New Year’s Day.

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To learn more about the new testing site, click here.

Rachel Menitoff