While Middlebury awaits at-home tests kits, residents lined up to get N95 masks

Coronavirus

MIDDELBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – Some cities and towns are moving forward with the distribution of N95 masks even though they don’t have at-home COVID test kits yet.

That was the case in Middlebury where residents waited in line an hour early for mask distribution. Middlebury decided to do this in waves rather than having one day where hundreds of people wait to collect test kits and masks.

“I have a 92-year-old mom that lives with me and my husband, so I feel it’s important to get all the resources we can,” said Janet Jones.

On Friday, people were not able to pick up test kits but were able to leave with a handful of N95 masks.

“It’s been a little disheartening that we still have an uptick with COVID, but we can handle it, face it as best we can,” Jones said.

State officials purchased 6 million masks and 3 million at-home COVID test kits. Middlebury officials were ready to distribute the kits on Thursday, but shipment delays forced them to pivot.

“We wanted to try to do it in waves so that it’s not such a congestion. At seven o’clock this morning, people were out here waiting. We weren’t supposed to start until 8. We started early,” said Brett Kales, Chief Emergency Manager in Middlebury.

With a COVID positivity rate around 20 percent, the masks and tests are in high demand and people say they’ll be back in line when the kits are ready to go.

“I’m thankful that we’ve got this opportunity to get these kits, eventually, and the masks,” Jones said.

Middlebury is tentatively planning another day when they’re able to distribute the test kits to the community.

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