Issues arise with COVID test kit distribution in Southington

Hartford

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Members of Southington’s emergency management team were hard at work Thursday morning and afternoon. They were stuffing 1,100 envelopes with two COVID-19 test kits.

Residents signed up for them online but things did not go exactly as planned.

The site was supposed to go live at 9 a.m. Thursday along with phone lines for those do not have Internet access, but the website went live Wednesday afternoon so all of the kits ordered online were gone a day early.

“It was an honest mistake but at that time as you know how social media works. Once it goes on the website, it went on social media so it’s not like we could stop it at that point,” said Town Manager Mark Sciota.

This comes after a few other glitches at the drive-up distribution at the Southington Drive-In on Jan. 3.

“First there was a limited supply,” Sciota said.

There were also traffic backups interrupting afternoon school bus routes and when distribution was suspended to help alleviate those backups, an erroneous message was sent out saying all the test kits were gone but they were not.

“I feel in an event this was a bigger emergency than what it is, we’d be failing our residents,” said Southington Town Councilman Jack Perry.

He believes there should be more transparency in how decisions are made.

“I feel as a councilman that there’s conversations being done and I’m not being included in on them,” Perry said.

Even though there may have been a few glitches, all these test kits are going to residents here in town which is where they were intended to go.

“Like anything else we learned,” Sciota said. “This is not something we do every day.”

Next time, they may again use online registration.

“If you sign up, we’ll be able to cross reference and say ‘no that address received one already’ so it’s a little bit more fair,” Sciota said.

They’ll also send the test kits through mail again.

“I’m like is that funds that could have been used to buy more test kits?” Perry said. “That the town of Southington could have purchased.”

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