MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade officials gave away thousands of at-home COVID-19 testing kits at various locations across the county as the state set a one-day record for new cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

The distribution took place hours before COVID-19 testing sites across the state closed for Christmas. The site at Tropical Park in Southwest Miami-Dade, however, will reopen Friday.

The surge in demand for testing has not slowed, as people are desperate to know their status before gathering with loved ones.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county is working to enable an increase in at-home testing.

North Dade Regional Library is one of five locations that began distributing at-home testing kits starting at 9 a.m. on Friday. Only three kits were allowed per household.

The kits were scheduled to be distributed until 3 p.m., but just after 12:45 p.m, officials confirmed in a tweet that suppiles had run out at all locations.

In total, 12,500 testing kits were handed out to residents.

“Thank you,” one man said. “We definitely need it.”

“You know, you have to keep doing it to make sure,” said recipient Bettye Cepeda.

“I wanted to be one of the first ones out,” said Calvin Hanna as he waited in line. “I want to do the test for me and my father. My father is 96 years old, and I want to make sure he has the tests also.”

The distribution began 30 minutes ahead of schedule due to the long lines.

“They weren’t supposed to open until 9 o’ clock in the morning, so I’m just happy that somebody has a heart,” one recipient said.

Free testing kits were distributed at five different libraries across the county.

“We should have about another 20,000 on Monday, possibly more to start distributing again,” said Ray Baker of the Miami-Dade Public Library System.

Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens are limiting how many kits one person can buy at once as they wait for the Biden administration’s promise of half a billion free testing kits to be distributed.

“This means the first delivery from manufacturers will arrive in January, and we anticipate having a full line of delivery of all 500 million in the weeks following,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, “so it will start to be delivered in January.”

The need for testing remains high across the country.

Clayton Young needs one before traveling internationally.

“I have one at home and I did it, but because I’m traveling internationally, I said, “Let me come do this one,'” he said, “because the at-home one, I don’t think they’re gonna take that at the airport.”

Other giveaway locations — the Northeast Dade Aventura Branch Library and Westchester Regional Library — will start distributions next week.

Distribution of testing kits at Miami-Dade County libraries is set to resume on Monday. The program is expected to expand to 27 libraries.

“We should have around another 20,000 on Monday, possibly more, to start distributing again,” Baker said.

Testing sites closed at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Tropical Park will be open on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday night, however, Tropical Park was the most quiet it has been in at least a week.

In Broward County, C.B. Smith, Markham and Mills Pond parks were closed on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Health care workers are getting ready for a rush of omicron cases.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials announed they are changing their isolation and quarantine guidelines to try to prevent shortages at hospitals by allowing employees to come back sooner than before.

Meanwhile, testing sites remain just as busy.

“The line is very long,” one woman said.

For the list of libraries distributing at-home testing kits, click here.

For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Miami-Dade County, click here. To find vaccination sites, click here.

For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Broward County, click here. To find vaccination sites, click here.

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