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New Haven to Distribute More COVID Kits, Launch Student Testing Program

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New Haven city leaders want to keep kids in the classroom safely for as long as possible, so next week they’re launching a new screening process.

“Students that have been exposed to COVID but are asymptomatic, can continue to come to school as long as they get a rapid test every day for five days,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

He adds that it’s a stronger plan than the state’s “screen and stay recommendation,” which doesn’t include testing. And he says it’s more restrictive than the CDC’s two-test policy.

“We think that our proposal is much more rigorous in the five-day testing,” Elicker said. “And we've talked extensively to ensure that we have enough tests and that for the foreseeable future, we feel like we're in a good spot.”

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Those tests will go home with students through school nurses, while the city hosts another round of test kit giveaways for the public on Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Our goal here is to really get as deep into the neighborhoods as we can,” said Rick Fontana, New Haven’s director of emergency operations.

To do it, they’ll host the distributions for city residents only at police substations citywide.

“So we are working together collectively to make sure that we're distributing in an equitable manner,” said city health director Maritza Bond. “So in total, so far, we have distributed over 43,000 tests.”

This time they’ll offer single test kits. Since the city is acquiring its own tests in addition to what the state offers, there’s concern about finding authentic tests now that demand is so high.

“We have full confidence in what we have already provided,” said Fontana. “Those [previous tests] were from the state of Connecticut. This is after that delivery that there's a concern. So, this concern is, is basically over the last few days.”

So, they are carefully screening the distributors and the lot numbers of test kits as they continue to try to make them as accessible as possible.

“Having these sites in different neighborhoods all around the city will make it much, much easier, we believe, for anyone to have access to tests,” Elicker said. “And we think this is a good strategy to make it super accessible to everyone.”

New Haven Distribution Information:

  • District 2 / Westville – 329 Valley Street
  • District 3 / Hill South – 410 Howard Avenue
  • District 4 / Dwight/Chapel – 150 Edgewood Avenue
  • District 6 / Dixwell – 28 Charles Street
  • District 9 / East Shore – 830 Woodward Avenue

Friday, January 14

  • District 5 / Hill North – 90 Hallock Street
  • District 7 / Newhallville – 596 Winchester Avenue
  • District 8 / Fair Haven – 295 Blatchley Avenue
  • District 10 / Beaver Hills – 332 Whalley Avenue
  • Quinnipiac Meadows / Ross Woodward School – 185 Barnes Avenue
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