By Rachel Wulff

WOODLAND (CBS13) — Yolo County is handing out free at-home COVID-19 tests, but there is one catch: you need to test positive first to get one.

Manuel Mariano couldn’t believe the line of people in their cars that curled around the block in Woodland. He tested positive for COVID-19.

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“I got tested because my daughter’s friend tested positive,” Mariano said. “That’s the reason why and they are all negative.”

He says he has not had a fever

“I have a sore throat and then I feel a little weak,” he said.

The highly contagious omicron variant has resulted in a record number of cases in Yolo County. That’s why the county decided to hand out 5,000 free antigen home test kits distributed by the state.

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“You have to have tested positively in the last 7 days and show proof of that on a cell phone or tablet and the date of test,” county spokesperson John Fout said.

So why are these tests for people who’ve already tested positive? The idea is to shorten isolation periods to less than ten days if they have no symptoms or symptoms that are improving.

“I’ve got four family members, my son and his entire family are down, so we are trying to get the in-home we we unable to find them anywhere,” parent Michelle Bowman said. “He can’t return to work until we know for sure.”

Experts say antigen tests are preferred for shortening the isolation period because PCR tests can show a positive result for months even if you are not contagious. Many were thankful for the free tests.

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If you weren’t able to get one of those test kits Monday you can get them at Healthy Davis Together or Health Yolo Together.