Next Round Of Newtown COVID Test Distributions Scheduled
Newtown officials have announced the next round of distribution opportunities for free COVID-19 test kits. Registration goes live Saturday, January 15 at noon.
According to a notification from Newtown Health District, the purpose of test kit distribution is to provide tests to be used to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant and to supplement existing testing.
"Primary focus is on people who are symptomatic or who are a close contact to a case," the notice states. "Test kits are also being provided to school districts; the school district has communicated with school families on how to obtain a test kit."
Similar to the first round of distributions that occurred January 2, there will be an online sign-up/registration to obtain a test kit. To sign-up Visit the following link which will also be live on the Health District webpage at 12 pm (noon) on Saturday, January 15, or CLICK HERE.
Each household can receive one kit (note that each kit has 2 tests in it for a total of 2 tests per household). Anyone who has already received test kits is asked to not sign up again. There is not enough supply for every resident, a point First Selectman Dan Rosenthal discussed earlier this week with The Newtown Bee.
Duplicate appointments will be canceled.
With a confirmed appointment only test kits will be distributed on:
*Tuesday, January 18, in meeting room 3 at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street;
*Wednesday and Thursday, January 19-20, as a drive-thru event at Newtown Senior Center — this distribution will be focused on local senior citizens and will have communication for sign-up directed to that population;
*Friday, January 21, in meeting room 1 at Newtown Municipal Center; and
*Saturday, January 22 (inclement weather date Sunday, January 23), as a drive-thru.
Proof of residency and confirmed appointment will be required for all of the above dates. Qualified registrants must save their e-mail confirmation and have ID ready when they arrive at the distribution site.
The senior center and Reed School distribution sessions will involve volunteers dispensing kits to registrants in their car. Drivers and any passengers are to remain in their vehicles. The smaller distribution at the municipal center will be indoors.
Newtown Emergency Management team is prefacing its next round of distribution with the fact that there are not enough kits for every resident in Town.
"We understand that this may prove to be challenging, as all things COVID-19-related tend to be," the memo states. "We will also distribute masks at the distribution sessions, and masks will also be available in various locations in town."
Anyone without a valid Newtown ID and appointment confirmation will not be provided tests. Health officials are asking registrants to ensure whoever is picking up the tests has this information.
Today's announcement came at the same time Governor Ned Lamont announced that his administration, working in cooperation with the Office of Attorney General William Tong, has reached an agreement with Disability Rights Connecticut and Connecticut Legal Rights Project regarding the state’s ongoing distribution of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests and N95 masks.
Under the agreement, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is issuing revised guidance to towns and cities on the distribution of tests and masks. This updated guidance includes instructions on the prioritization of vulnerable populations, including those who live in congregate housing and those who have physical, mental, or intellectual or other developmental disabilities.
In addition, the administration will be providing 20,000 N95 masks (without metal in them) to the Connecticut Department of Correction for the immediate use of incarcerated individuals.
Disability Rights Connecticut and Connecticut Legal Rights Project have agreed to withdraw complaints they recently filed on this topic with the Office of Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice.
“We know that COVID-19 is impacting certain, vulnerable populations the most, and that is why we need to do everything in our ability to ensure that those who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities or live in congregate settings have access to the tools they need to protect themselves from this virus,” Lamont said. “I appreciate Disability Rights Connecticut and Connecticut Legal Rights Project for working with my administration on this effort.”
“I want to thank our Health section chief Dan Shapiro for his excellent work in crafting this agreement, which will provide important access to masks and testing supplies for incarcerated individuals and individuals with disabilities,” Tong said. “I thank Governor Lamont and his team for their dogged efforts to bring these masks and tests into Connecticut to help keep us safe and fight this pandemic.”
“As an organization serving individuals with disabilities throughout the state, we are pleased that the governor acted quickly in response to our complaints to get effective relief to the people we represent during this very difficult period in the pandemic,” Deborah Dorfman, executive director of Disability Rights Connecticut, said. “This will help protect those who are most at risk, benefitting everyone.”
“We are very appreciative that the state worked collaboratively with us to ensure that our clients in DMHAS facilities were able to get N95 masks, and to increase access to self-test kits for Connecticut residents with disabilities in all 169 cities and towns,” said Kathy Flaherty, executive director of Connecticut Legal Rights Project.