The City of New Britain has started handing out at home-test kits and masks after days of long lines with people hoping to get tested.
The gates at Veterans Stadium in New Britain on Tuesday opened 30 minutes before the original start time after lines began forming at 5:00 a.m.
The long lines created traffic jams and the city opened the gates at 7:30 to alleviate some of the backups leading up to the stadium.
The city received 5,500 test kits from the state and at least 1,000 of those test kits went to those who live in congregate settings and those considered elderly, according to the city's mayor. The leftover 4,500 tests were distributed on Tuesday morning.
N-95 masks were handed out to provide additional protection against the contagious omicron variant.
"It's our behavior, it's masking, it's social distancing, it's washing your hands, all of these things are going to help slow the spread," said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart. "These at-home test-kits may provide some peace of mind for those who want one."
Christopher Micik picked up his rapid tests and mask after running into some problems earlier in the morning.
"I went to AFC Urgent Care in downtown New Britain and they began handing out tickets for the day, but when I got there, they were all out," said Micik. "It's hard to get test anywhere so this is very helpful."
Others who stopped by to pick up their items said they wanted these tests as a back-up to avoid long lines at testing sites around the state.
"I'm concerned for the exposure of COVID and instead of bogging down another symptom if I have symptoms, I thought it might be easier to just take one of the at-home tests," said Joni Anderson-Senk. "I think this is a great resource and I'm glad we have been able to move through the line efficiently and quick."