coronavirus testing

Connecticut's Shipment of At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Tests Delayed; 15,000 Going Out Today

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Connecticut's shipment of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests has been delayed, according to the governor's office. The state received a small number of tests Thursday, quicker than they expected, and 15,000 are going out.

The tests are meant for distribution to help alleviate difficulties with testing access as demand surges.

"We informed cities and towns this morning that the kits wouldn’t be coming in overnight and that distribution today won’t be possible. We promised cities and towns the latest information when we had it and we will continue to keep the lines of communication open. When we have more information to share, we’ll provide it," Max Reiss, director of communications for Gov. Ned Lamont, said in a statement Thursday morning.

The governor's office said Wednesday that, “due to shipping and warehouse delays outside of the State of Connecticut’s control, our state’s anticipated shipment of COVID-19 at-home rapid tests are currently delayed from arriving in Connecticut."

Gov. Ned Lamont's office said his staff and multiple state agencies have spent the past several days working around the clock to accelerate the movement of tests "through what is clearly a shipping and distribution bottleneck on the West Coast amid unprecedented international demand for tests."

The distribution of the tests was meant to start Thursday. The 500,000 iHealth kits each contain two tests and are set aside for the general public. The delays will mean towns and cities may have to push back distribution plans.

The governor's office said 15,000 tests are going out today. The tests are going to Foodshare and the state Department of Housing to provide to people directly.

Around 1 million masks are going out today and they are going to Foodshare as well as cities and towns.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora criticized the governor's office, saying officials could have better prepared municipalities for potential shipment delays.

"Supply chain and shipping challenges have been a major part of the news cycle over the last year, and that fact, combined with an increased demand for tests right now, means it’s no surprise that Connecticut isn’t receiving these tests on time. What is surprising, however, is that the Governor and his team would be so bold to not only make their announcement Monday, but to also urge municipal officials to mobilize even though the tests had yet to arrive here. The governor can’t fix this with a press release—he’s over his skis on this one, and it’s going to cause a lot of headaches for local leaders who stretched themselves and their staffs to set up these distribution events."

Additional COVID-19 Tests to be Distributed to Schools

An additional two million tests will be distributed to K-12 schools across the state starting in January and continuing throughout the school year, Gov. Ned Lamont's office said.

The state will also distribute up to six million N95 masks to the general public and schools.

Governor Asks National Guard For Help

Governor Ned Lamont is calling on National Guard soldiers and airmen to help distribute the at-home rapid tests and N95 masks that the state purchased.

The governor is calling on nearly 100 servicemen for help.

The servicemen will also perform missions to alleviate the effects caused by the current Omicron variant surge, according to Lamont.

“As these at-home tests arrive in Connecticut over these next several days and weeks, the National Guard will help provide support on behalf of the state to ensure that they are distributed to each municipality and school district,” Lamont said.

“The Connecticut National Guard has provided an incredible amount of support throughout this pandemic, and I thank them for their ongoing commitment to the residents of our state," he continued.

The activation of the National Guard is federally-funded, according to state officials.

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