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500,000 additional COVID-19 at-home tests distributed across CT: Lamont

Along with state distribution, people across the country are now able to order free tests from the federal government.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Gov. Ned Lamont announced Saturday that the state had distributed another 500,000 COVID-19 self-tests to partner organizations this week, bringing the total amount it has delivered so far this month to nearly 3.6 million.

Lamont said the state has been working to obtain the self-tests from vendors and distribute them in bulk to partner organizations. The organizations then go on to provide them to their clients and members of their respective communities.

“We’ve got one of the largest COVID-19 self-test distribution operations of any state in the area, and I am appreciative of the many groups that are working with the state to get these out to the communities they serve,” Lamont said. “We’ve got thousands more self-tests on order, and we are working to get them out as quickly as they come in from our vendors.”

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Some of the deliveries for the week of Jan. 17 included:

  • 350,000 self-tests to municipalities for social services and vulnerable populations, K-12 students and teachers, first responders, other front-facing municipal employees, and non-licensed childcare programs;
  • 83,000 self-tests to community groups and vulnerable populations; and
  • 50,000 self-tests to nursing homes for visitor testing.

In total, the state has delivered the following amounts since December 31, 2021:

  • Municipalities - 1,350,000
  • K-12 students and teachers - 1,420,000
  • Early childhood providers - 164,000
  • State employees / PNPs - 217,000
  • Faith-based organizations - 158,000
  • Residents and clients of congregate settings - 49,000
  • Foodshare - 37,000
  • Homebound individuals - 22,000
  • K-12 bus drivers - 11,000
  • Center for Disability Rights - 5,000
  • Undocumented residents - 6,000
  • Seasonal farm workers - 9,000
  • Incarcerated population - 15,000
  • Public college and university students - 13,000
  • Nursing home visitation - 50,000
  • Coalition Against Domestic Violence - 20,000
  • Hartford Communities That Care - 3,000
  • LGBTQ Communities - 4,000
  • Spanish American Merchants - 13,000
  • Malta House of Care - 1,000
  • Community Re-Entry Programs - 4,000
  • Hospitality workers and community organizations - 20,000

All totaling 3,591,000 tests. 

One of the community groups that received test kits is the Spanish American Merchants Association who received 13,000.

“This was right on time. The merchants were really anxious to receive these COVID tests," SAMA Small Business Specialist Clodomiro Falcon said. “They were very, very happy. Not only the owners, but the employees as well."

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Along with state distribution, people across the country are now able to order free tests from the federal government. 

On Jan. 14, the White House announced the launch of COVIDtests.gov, the test-ordering website. An online statement said the site would go live on Jan. 19. 

However, the website was accepting requests for tests on Jan. 18, a day before its formal launch date. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Jan. 18 press briefing this was because the site was in a “beta testing phase.” 

“COVIDtests.gov is in the beta phase right now, which is a standard part of the process typically as it’s tested in the early stages of being rolled out,” Psaki said.

The testing site was fully functional on Jan. 18 and orders for tests were being processed.  

COVIDtests.gov redirects visitors to an order form on the U.S. Postal Service’s website, where you can order a total of four rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 tests per household online. 

To order the free tests, all one needs to do is enter their name and a residential mailing address. The tests are expected to ship within seven to 12 days and will be delivered by the USPS with no additional shipping costs, according to the website.

Once their order has shipped, they will receive an email with an estimated delivery date and a tracking number. You will then be able to track the status of your delivery on USPS.com, according to the agency.

For individuals unable to access COVIDtests.gov or those who need additional support placing an order, you can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). 

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Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

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