coronavirus in connecticut

CT Receives More Than 400,000 At-Home Rapid COVID Tests, Schools to Open on Schedule: Gov.

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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.

Lamont also announced that the schools will open as scheduled.

He said the guidance was sent out on schools this morning and all of the schools are going to be open as scheduled.

"If you're a teacher or an educator and you think maybe you ought to get tested before you go back to school, we have the tests for you," Lamont said Friday.

He said they told the schools that for people who are immuno-compromised, those with someone at home who is at risk, or those who have to quarantine, schools can allow remote learning.

"But otherwise, we want everybody back in school," Lamont said, adding that he thinks the schools will be able to do that safely.

Connecticut has received a shipment of at-home rapid COVID tests.

The news conference comes hours after the governor held a news conference about the shipment of 3 million at-home COVID-19 tests, which had not arrived as expected, setting back distribution plans at a time of heavy demand for testing.

A shipment of 3 million at-home COVID-19 tests will not be arriving as expected, setting back distribution plans at a time of heavy demand for testing.

A top Republican leader said Thursday that Connecticut would not be receiving its expected shipment of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests promised by the governor after the state was outbid for the order.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said the governor called him around 1 p.m. Thursday to tell him the state had lost the purchase order for the test kits.

The governor said at a news conference Thursday that the state would still be getting rapid tests, but not on the originally planned schedule.

Gov. Ned Lamont held a news conference at 11 a.m. in New Britain Friday and said the state talked to the most senior people they could and shipments came in late Thursday night and early Friday morning.

The governor said he does not think the state can get them out to everyone Friday but will do what they can.

Lamont said the state is getting tests to municipalities with guidance to focus on people considered vulnerable, "forward-facing" and those with symptoms.

"My hope is that we're going to have a lot more tests, rapid tests, very soon, hopefully in time for the new school year," Lamont said.

Towns and cities had been expecting to receive their allocations of 500,000 iHealth kits, which were set to be distributed to the general public. Distribution was originally set to start Thursday, but plans were set back when the governor's office announced what they said was a delay in the shipment from the west coast.

The governor said Thursday there had been an agreement to receive a shipment of 3 million test kits, but that shipment was not coming through at that point. The governor said competition for the supplies has been fierce as demand surged.

"I think we got ahead of ourselves," Lamont said.

Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said Thursday that the state did have a contract and purchase order and did things by the book, but that the status of the order was "misrepresented" to state officials. No money exchanged hands and nothing was delivered, Juthani said Thursday.

On Friday, Lamont said the state was not paying for anything it has not received and now some of the products have gotten here.

"We absolutely had a contract. We issued a purchase order off that contract. We were given pictures that the tests were on the way. Those pictures were misrepresented. We did everything by the book for a purchase of this size," Juthani said.

Juthani said state officials communicated with municipalities based on what they were told about the order at the time.

The state did receive a small number of tests Thursday and said 15,000 were provided to Foodshare and the state Department of Housing to provide to people directly. The state has received shipments of N95 masks that will be distributed in the coming days.

This comes as the state sees surging demand for COVID-19 testing as cases climb rapidly.

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