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Connecticut will distribute millions of at-home tests and N95 masks to combat the COVID surge

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
Ebong Udoma
WSHU Public Radio
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Connecticut governor Ned Lamont has announced plans to distribute 3 million COVID-19 rapid tests to schools and local health departments to combat a spike in infections that has brought the state’s positivity rate to almost 11%.

Two million test kits will go to K-12 schools starting in January. One million tests will go to local health departments this week for distribution at large gathering places like homeless shelters and nursing homes.

Lamont said the at-home rapid tests will help fight a surge of infections brought on by the Omicron variant.

“In terms of some of our hardest hit populations — some of our congregate settings, some of our homeless shelters — make sure those fast-acting tests are there so we can make sure that you know that you're safe,” Lamont said at a news conference.

The state also plans to distribute 6 million N95 masks, which are more effective than cloth face coverings.

Lamont said his top priority is to keep schools open and avoid any further shutdowns.

“We see the spread of Omicron [and] we see it's hitting some young people,” Lamont said. “We want to do everything we can to make you, as parents, know that your kids can go to school safely.”

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.