New Canaan Families Await Details on Limited COVID-19 ‘Home Test Kit’ Distribution


New Canaan families that were able to sign up last week for COVID-19 at-home test kits likely will receive instructions in the coming days on a new distribution plan, according to the town’s highest elected official. 

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan originally had said the town sought to get test kits “into the hands of families prior to the coming holiday weekend to help reduce the current surge in COVID-19 cases by allowing individuals to identify COVID-19 cases quickly and take steps to isolate appropriately to curb further spread of the virus.”

“The State is allocating only enough test kits for a small percentage of the New Canaan population, so the target for these test kits are individuals and families who plan to attend holiday weekend gatherings,” Moynihan said in a town-wide email on Wednesday. “Those planning to remain at home for the weekend should not seek tests in this distribution.”

Yet the following afternoon, Thursday, Moynihan followed up with another email saying that “[b]ecause the test kits did not arrive from California by this morning, as the Governor’s office had expected, the distribution this evening at NCHS has been canceled.”

“New Canaan was to receive only enough test kits for about 500 families and the SignUpGenius app was sold out within minutes yesterday, partly because residents signed up for multiple family members rather than only one sign up per family,” he said in the Dec. 30 email. “Those families that have received time slots for pickup of test kits will be notified by email when a new delivery plan is scheduled, which will likely be next week.”

The emails came within days of an announcement that Gov. Ned Lamont made Monday, that the state would start distributing federally funded at-home rapid tests (and N95 masks) starting Dec. 30 and through this week.

“State officials stress that details of the distribution of the kits and N95 masks are still being finalized and are subject to change this week,” Lamont said in the announcement. 

New Canaan’s plan to distribute the test kits to residents who had planned to attend holiday gatherings was different from some other area towns. For example, Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo said in a press release last week of the approximately 8,000 test kits allocated for that town, “With a Town population of 63,518 residents, it is imperative that there is prioritization for those most in need of tests—those who are experiencing symptoms and our senior population.”

Lamont in his Dec. 27 press release said the state is getting a total of 3 million test kits for distribution to the general public. Additionally, Connecticut will distribute 1 million test-kits for K-12 schools statewide. “More details on the distribution of tests for schools will be announced in early January,” Lamont said in the press release.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said in a Jan. 1 email to the New Canaan Public Schools community that “we anticipate receiving kits early next week for distribution to our schools.”

“Of course, if your child is symptomatic please do not send them to school; instead, notify the school and we can help arrange testing through the local Health Department,” Luizzi said in the email. “These test kits provided to schools are meant for students and staff who arrive at school feeling healthy but begin experiencing symptoms as the day progresses. These rapid-tests will help our nursing staff to quickly identify and isolate students and staff with active symptoms that emerge throughout the school day. More information is forthcoming about the testing kits in the week ahead.”

As he had indicated at a Board of Education meeting in mid-December, Luizzi also said in his email that the schools planned to resume in-person learning Jan. 3 at regular times. “

“Our extremely high vaccination rate among faculty (+97%) and staff (+94%), and strong rate among students, continues to help us through this winter surge; additionally, we will be making a few procedural and logistical changes to further enhance our mitigation strategies and minimize spread inside our school walls,” he said.

3 thoughts on “New Canaan Families Await Details on Limited COVID-19 ‘Home Test Kit’ Distribution

  1. Rather than using the sign-up “Genius” program which failed to catch duplicates registrations, I would suggest that the town collect the name/addresses of all taxpayers who would like to receive test kits, and then select randomly from the list to allocate the number of tests available. That way, everyone gets a shot at getting a kit. I think this is fairer than the “first come, first served” method the town is using now.

  2. Gee, if only the town hadn’t given $60k in ARPA funding to some random website company, we could just go buy a bunch of tests on and hand them out to folks.

  3. I agree with Andrew. Spending $60K of valuable funds on creating a marketing plan from a Darien agency is ridiculous when the funds are so needed for more critical needs of our town. Maybe it’s not too late to make that change and rethink that $60,000, especially, when the real estate market is so hot and advertising is not needed for folks to move to this town. And, wouldn’t it be nice to explore local creative talent to use when and if ever needed?
    Kathleen Murphy

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