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.

‘COVID-19 Mandatory Mask Zone’ Signs Posted Downtown

Municipal officials this week posted several signs downtown designating heavily foot-trafficked areas as “mandatory mask zones.”

The yellow signs posted on lampposts say the COVID-19 mask zones are in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. They bear the town seal and include the message, “Thank you for your cooperation.”

In all, 24 signs will go up on Elm, Forest, Main and Pine Streets, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan told members of the Town Council during their regular meeting Wednesday night. Asked during his update to the Town Council why there’s a set time when the mask zone is in effect, Moynihan said, “Because it’s going to relate to issuing fines. The state is getting very serious about issuing fines.” He said that the state is urging municipalities to enforce rules about mask-wearing and prohibitions on large gatherings, and that town scan be mandated to undergo training on issuing fines if their COVID numbers rise and they’ve taken no enforcement steps.

‘It Does Establish Local Control’: State Rep Pursues Bill That Would Allow Towns To Decide on ‘Leg Hold’ Trapping

A state legislator is urging residents of New Canaan and nearby towns to contact their delegates to the Connecticut General Assembly as he pushes for a bill that would allow municipalities—rather than the state—to decide whether widely discussed “leg hold” or “foothold” traps may be used in their towns. State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151) said that allowing towns to move away from the traps—which use a footplate and curved jaws that snap onto animals that spring them—is mainly “about cruelty to animals who otherwise have no say at all in how they are treated.”

“This is something that is really horrible,” Camillo, who represents a wide swath of Greenwich, told as a long session of the state legislature got underway last week. “Horrible. And it is not just for coyotes. Dogs have gotten caught in these things.