WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut National Guard is helping distribute 50,000 COVID-19 test kits to about 200 nursing homes across the state Friday.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order goes into effect Saturday, requiring nursing home visitors to show proof of vaccination or a recently tested negative COVID-19 test.

Visitors also have the option of administering one of the rapid tests once they get to the facility.

If visitors refuse to test or test positive, the nursing home will not be allowed to let them in.

“What they’re doing out here is literally providing lifesaving testing and equipment that’s going to keep people safer and make people survive this insidious disease,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

At Camp Hartell in Windsor Locks, representatives from nursing homes across the state waited for boxes filled with tests to be loaded up into their cars.

News 8 spoke with some staff members from facilities who said this is critical when it comes to keeping everyone safe.

“The restrictions have been lifted, people can visit, which is great for families, great for residents, but it puts everyone at risk,” Jim Thompson at Grandview Rehab said. “It only takes a couple, and off it goes!”

“We keep needing more supplies and it’s tough to get and costs a lot of money to get it,” said Gary Pellino of Hancock Hall, a short-term rehab center and nursing home in Danbury.

The Connecticut National Guard also distributed PPE, including gowns and masks.

“The soldiers working the site can quickly and efficiently fill the supplies to meet the order they’ve placed with the Department of Public Health,” said Second Lt. Steven Tucker, a public affairs officer with the Connecticut National Guard.

Friday’s distribution is separate from the ones for municipalities state-wide.