Milford to receive 6,300 at-home COVID test kits

Governor Ned Lamont speaks to the press about the omicron variant following the signing of a lease for a partnership agreement for Union Station and State Street Station in New Haven on December 21, 2021.

Governor Ned Lamont speaks to the press about the omicron variant following the signing of a lease for a partnership agreement for Union Station and State Street Station in New Haven on December 21, 2021.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — City officials will soon be distributing more than 6,000 COVID-19 at-home rapid test kits.

Gov. Ned Lamont Monday announced plans to distribute 3 million of these tests and 6 million N95 masks in Connecticut to help curb the spread of the virus during this heavy travel and holiday season.

“Connecticut is currently experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases that is being driven mostly by the highly transmissible omicron variant,” Lamont said. “As a result, the demand for tests has outpaced the supply of testing available through our statewide network of about 400 sites.”

Milford Chief of Staff Justin Rosen said the city will be picking up its allotment of 6,390 test kits from the regional distribution point later this week.

“At this time, no dates have been set locally for distribution since the state of Connecticut is still finalizing their distribution guidance,” Rosen said. “As for the N95 masks, it’s my understanding that the priority will be schools and first responders.”

The state Department of Public Health, state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and the Connecticut National Guard are overseeing the distribution of the kits to the regional and local emergency management teams.

In addition to those designated for the general public, the state has purchased another 1 million iHealth kits — each containing two tests for a total of 2 million tests — that will be distributed to K-12 schools statewide.

“Monday’s announcement regarding the distribution of COVID test kits applies to the general public and first responders for the start of this effort,” school Superintendent Anna Cutaia said. “Access to test kits for public education and the plan for distributing them will be coming in the next few weeks.”

Lamont’s office said distribution of those kits, which will also include a supply of N95 masks, will begin in January and continue through the school year as supplies last. Planning for this initiative is being conducted in partnership with the state Department of Education.

The total cost of the 3 million tests is approximately $18.5 million and will be funded through federal funds.

The governor added that the addition of these at-home tests will immediately expand the number of tests available in Connecticut in a very short period. Last week, about 250,000 tests were reported to the state Department of Public Health.

“There are three simple and effective interventions to fight off the current surge of COVID-19 from the omicron variant — vaccination, masking, and testing,” said state Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani.

Per the CDC recommendations, if a self-test yields a positive result, people are asked to stay home or isolate for 10 days and wear a mask. There is no need to obtain a follow up PCR test.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com