426,000 At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits Arrive, But Testing Is Still a Challenge

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Trying to get a COVID test? There are still long lines at testing sites and empty shelves at the store.

The governor was apologetic as he walked the line at a testing site in New Britain Friday. Unable to secure millions of tests, the governor was able to announce that they did get more than 400,000 overnight.

“Sorry about the long wait. Everyone’s fed up,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. 

Lamont said better days are ahead.

“We’re going to have a lot more tests in the next couple of weeks,” Lamont said.  

But that doesn’t help the hundreds in line Friday.

“It’s frustrating because if I had an at-home kit, maybe I wouldn’t have to be here for three hours in line,” Tanya Rosado of Wolcott said. 

Rosado was having cold symptoms and wanted to rule out COVID-19.

“I’m a teacher and school starts on Monday and we’re headed back so I hope I get the results as well,” Rosado said.

What did she tell the governor?

“We need more testing sites,” she said.

The shelves are empty.

“I couldn’t find anything through any of the stores like CVS or anything like that,” Marjorie Jackson of Wethersfield said.

Connecticut received a shipment of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests early Friday morning, according to the governor. He said the state has received 426,000 tests and there are more to come, including today.

“I think once they knew Omicron was coming, they should have opened up the sites like they were back when the virus began,” Jackson said.

“I’ve been looking for over four days trying to find a place to get tested. It’s been very hard to try and get into anywhere,” Tyesha Rivera of Bristol said.

Rivera said she needs a test to get back to work and Ryan Crowshaw of Avon needs one to get back to school.

“I guess it's annoying, but, like, it is what it is, so. You need to do it to make sure everyone’s safe,” Crowshaw said.

Lamont said he’s talking to several suppliers of at-home tests and they expect more deliveries in the future, but isn’t making any promises.

The shipment of three million tests never materialized.

The state had a contract and a purchase order with Jack Rubenstein LLC for three million masks. Jeffrey Barlow, who is president of the company, said he’s still working on securing the at-home tests.

Barlow told NBC Connecticut that some of the 426,000 at-home tests that arrived in the state were secured by him.

“We really need to have an investigation over what occurred because that was really the biggest hoax that was played on the state of Connecticut,” House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said.

Candelora said if a company deceived the state, then there needs to be consequences.

“This was a massive $18 million contract, there needs to be accountability. I know the governor wants to move on but we as a state need to stand up to bad business practices,” Candelora said.

Lamont said there will be plenty of time to do a post-mortem but the state needs the tests now.

“We’re in discussions with let's says 30 different providers right now,” Lamont said.

“Purchase orders are good. I don’t have to pay until I see the product, test the product and make sure the product is good, if it’s the product we contracted for," he continued.

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