TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL) – Bridging The GAPS of Arkansas has partnered with the Arkansas Department of Health to provide free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests for Texarkana residents.

The partnership is an effort to stop the spread of the virus as many testing sites are overwhelmed. Bridging The GAPS CEO Johnny Riley says his organization received nearly 300 kits Thursday morning and they were gone within a few hours. The State of Arkansas is set to receive 1.5 million rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits to distribute throughout the state.

“Within about five minutes the first case was gone. Within another 20 minutes, almost half of the second case was gone,” Riley said.

Erica Timmons says she was able to grab a few kits for herself and her family, who were exposed to the virus and have not been feeling well. She says she needs to be sure that they aren’t positive so they don’t spread it to others.

“I work in healthcare, and all of my family works in healthcare, and so we are exposed. So when, if we begin to have symptoms then I feel like it’s our duty to go ahead and get tested.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson said the tests cost about 10 million dollars and were paid for by existing funds in the COVID-19 response budget.

The test kits will also be available at the Texarkana public library and Miller County Health Unit. They will give out the tests until they run out.

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. they will host a vaccination clinic at Mt. Orange Baptist Church.