Connecticut's COVID-19 numbers have been steadily rising since the start of September, prompting state officials and doctors to called for renewed discipline on masking and social distancing.
Today in Middletown, the school district is taking matters into its own hands and is making it easier for students and staff to get a coronavirus test.
The school district is offering two different types of testing and both are free of charge.
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If any student or staff are showing symptoms, the Community Health Center is offering rapid testing starting today. The testing will be at individual schools for students and staff with confidential results available in less than 15 minutes, Middletown Superintendent of Schools Michael Conner said.
For those not showing symptoms, PCR testing will be available for families, students and staff on a rotating basis at eight schools starting this Wednesday, Conner added. The testing will be a drive thru process.
This week, the PCR Mobile Lab will be at Middletown High School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This pilot program is the first of its kind in the state, where the school district is offering the testing with the help the State of Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont, Commissioner Miguel Cardona, the Department of Education and Middletown's Community Health Center, according to Conner.
On Friday, the state's COVID-19 test positivity rate jumped back up to 2.9%, according to Governor Ned Lamont. That is up from Thursday's rate of 2.3%.
On Thursday, the state saw 19 cities and towns reach a COVID-19 "Red Alert" status, which applies to any municipalities in which there are 15 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000 people per day. There were only 11 cities and towns at that level last week.