MERIDEN – Hundreds of cars lined up on Broad Street and Coe Avenue on Saturday morning awaiting the distribution of 2,400 COVID test kits and face masks to homes.
“It’s awesome,” said city manager Tim Coon. “We would do anything for residents and as we move forward we are always looking for ways to use federal and state funds to help our residents.”
The Meriden Fire Department and Police were at Edison and Lincoln Colleges and were distributing two rapid test kits to each resident. Each kit included 2 tests. Residents also received N95 masks.
Another 2,000 test kits will go to first responders, churches, the senior center, homeless shelters and organizations that work with people at high risk.
Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Dunn and Coon felt the Saturday distribution was beneficial for those who work during the week. Surrounding towns held their distributions earlier in the week.
Anyone who received a test kit and masks had to provide proof of residency.
The distribution of tests and masks was originally scheduled for December 30. It has been modified due to a delay in the delivery of the test kits to the State.
Although the advertised start time is 10 a.m., Coon said there were cars lined up hours earlier, so officials chose to start the distribution.
“We had people at both places as early as 6am and we saw the line was so long so we just started moving people,” Coon said.
Earlier this week, Lea Crown, director of health and social services, said the tests should be used “as soon as possible” and not saved for future use.
According to health officials, if a person tests positive, they should begin quarantine for five days from the first day of symptoms or the day of a positive test result. If the symptoms have not improved, they should continue to stay home and wear a mask when they are with others.
If someone tests negative but still has symptoms, they should schedule a PCR test. Although it is not mandatory, residents are encouraged to report positive test results to the city.
Mayor Kevin Scarpati arrived at Lincoln Middle School to greet the residents. He said the distribution was made possible by the city, state and federal government.
“If that’s one thing we’ve learned over the past month, it’s how critical the testing has become, so I’m happy to see people taking advantage of the free test kits and masks,” he said. he declared.