HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The delayed shipment of Connecticut’s at-home rapid COVID-19 tests has officially canceled distribution events scheduled for Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office announced.
“We informed cities and towns this morning [Thursday morning] that the kits wouldn’t be coming in overnight and that distribution today [Thursday] won’t be possible,” Max Reiss, the director of communications for the governor, said in a statement Thursday. “We promised cities and towns the latest information when we had it and we will continue to keep the lines of communication open.”
On Monday, Lamont announced that the state would be distributing a total of three million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Cities and towns across the state were prepared to start distributing the test kits to residents beginning on Thursday, Dec. 30.
Lamont announced Wednesday afternoon that the anticipated shipment of 500,000 test kits had been delayed. He said the delay is due to a shipping and distribution bottleneck on the West Coast.
“Due to shipping and warehouse delays outside of the State of Connecticut’s control, our state’s anticipated shipment of COVID-19 at-home rapid tests are currently delayed from arriving in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a statement Wednesday. “My staff and multiple state agencies have spent the past several days working around the clock to accelerate the movement of our tests through what is clearly a shipping and distribution bottleneck on the West Coast amid unprecedented international demand for tests. I want to thank our municipal and emergency management partners who have quickly and efficiently established their methods of distribution of the tests, clearly communicating them to their communities. My administration is in regular communication with city and town leaders, and we will provide updates as we have them in order to distribute the tests as quickly as possible. I thank our staff and leadership at the Department of Administrative Services, the Department of Public Health, the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and the Connecticut National Guard for their incredible work to execute on this test delivery.”
The video below is from a previous newscast on Dec. 29, 2021.
News 8 has learned municipal CEOs on a phone call with the governor’s staff are extremely upset about this test kit delay. Many had made plans to give out the kits and have been fielding hundreds of calls from residents.
News 8’s Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina spoke with Republican House Minority Leader Vin Candelora about the delay.
“We’re planning on having a police presence at the sites because of the frenzy that will occur from people being desperate for these kits and so for now, for this announcement to delay all of that is really going to potentially create problems,” Candelora said.
Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano is trying to diffuse the situation in his town.
“We are in re-planning mode in Bristol specifically and will likely push this off until the end of the weekend, so people can have these tests in their hands before they go back to work on Monday,” Caggiano said.
In the meantime, city and town officials are asking the public for their patience as this delay appears to be out of the state’s control.
There is no word at this time when the at-home tests are expected to arrive in Connecticut.
Stay tuned to News 8 for updates on this story.