About 18,000 COVID-19 self-test kits have been given out to people in Ward County and six others, according to First District Health Unit.

An official at FDHU says this is partly responsible for the low numbers now being seen at in-person test sites.

While the response to self-test kits has been promising, it could be better given the combined population of the coverage area.

First District has been working with partner organizations to make at-home COVID tests more accessible.

“We’ve reached out to a few of our community partners it could be schools, senior centers, long-term care, banks, fire department, law enforcement and those entities are getting cases of kits to distribute among their residents, their clients their employees,” Director of Environmental Health Lisa Otto-Westman said.

Otto-Westman explained, “the larger employers will take a large amount to distribute to their employees.”

She said there are thousands of kits on hand to give as she reminded people not to wait until they’re sick to grab a kit.