Cities, towns work on distribution plans for at home COVID tests | Connecticut News


CONNECTICUT (WFSB) – People continue to line up at testing sites with COVID cases rising.

Governor Ned Lamont is looking to provide some short-term relief with free at-home tests, but is that enough?

Any access to tests right now will be helpful, but experts think this demand will continue for the foreseeable future. They say that means we need to do more to increase testing capacity.

Willard Hunt said, “I thought it would be shorter, but I know people from other places come to Hartford, they should put another post in East Hartford.”

People continue to line up at testing sites with COVID cases rising.

An hour and a half in, and Hunt’s only halfway through the line at Hartford’s COVID testing site on Albany Avenue. He didn’t expect to have to wait this long, but people are coming from all over central Connecticut.

Peter Christie came from Marlborough.

“Just getting together around the holidays for Christmas, just making sure, you know, I’m not positive,” said Christie.

Demand for testing remains high. Public health officials are trying to help people get those tests.

Hartford’s Health Director, Liany Arroyo, said, “we know that many of the testing sites are expanding their hours, this particular site will expand to seven days a week.”

Governor Ned Lamont is trying to help with 3 million free at-home test kits.

The first 500,000 will go to cities and towns to distribute, but his office announced today a delay will put that process on hold.

Tests could help with the holiday-driven surge in testing, but health officials don’t see demand dropping much.

Dr. James Cardon, Chief Clinical Integration Officer with Hartford Healthcare, said, “we’re not anticipating this dying down anytime soon, we’re still seeing a combination of both the delta and the emerging omicron.”

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal says the federal government also needs to step in. He wants more money from congress, and for the president to order more tests be produced.

“There is no question that the federal government should have done more, done it more quickly and effectively to prepare for this testing challenge,” said Blumenthal.

As for the at-home tests, supply will be limited.

Town officials are trying to figure out how to get them to the most vulnerable. They’ll also require proof you live there.

East Hartford Health and Human Services Director Laurence Burnsed said, “the allocation we got will certainly not cover our entire population, and that’s the case for all towns.”

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