On Friday, December 31, 2021, the city of Norwalk will be distributing free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests to residents at Calf Pasture Beach beginning at 8 a.m. The drive-thru distribution event is first come, first serve, and runs until 3 p.m., but may end sooner if supplies run out. Proof of Norwalk residency is required and there will be a limit of how many tests are provided to each household.
“There has been a significant demand for testing during this current surge of COVID-19 and it is important to get these tests to residents before the weekend. I thank Governor Lamont for his ongoing leadership throughout this public health crisis and providing resources to communities around the state,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “Please remember even if someone tests negative, but is feeling sick or symptomatic, they should remain home and not risk exposing others. If someone tests positive, please report this information to the Norwalk Health Department so we can better understand community transmission.”
When residents arrive to Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk Police Officers and Norwalk Health Department Emergency Response Team volunteers will be on site to ensure distribution runs smoothly. Residents must remain in their cars and wear a face mask. They will also be required to provide proof of residency, such as a photo ID, recent utility bill, or Norwalk beach pass. There will be a limit of two test kits (four tests in total) per vehicle. A postcard developed by the Norwalk Health Department will be distributed with the tests, and residents can scan the QR code with their smartphone or visit norwalkct.org/selfreport to report a rapid test result.
“As we head into the New Year, it is important residents continue to follow public health guidelines and limit the size of gatherings as we attempt to slow the spread of the virus. It is imperative that residents follow the instructions carefully to ensure accurate test results. If someone tests positive, please report that information to us and isolate per CDC guidelines,” said Norwalk Health Director Deanna D’Amore. “Testing is an important tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please also continue to wear a mask indoors and if eligible, get vaccinated or boosted.”
The allocation of free rapid at-home tests comes from the state of Connecticut, as announced by Governor Ned Lamont earlier this week. The state indicated that additional free rapid at-home tests and N95 masks will be distributed to K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations statewide in January. The event on Friday is strictly at-home tests and does not include N95 masks.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has granted emergency use authorization for the iHealth COVID-19 antigen rapid test, which is completed with an anterior nasal swab and is not the deep nasal test. The test should only be used for those aged 2 years or older. The complete instructions for the at-home rapid test are available on the iHealth packaging in English and Spanish. Results are usually available in 15 minutes. More information on the iHealth antigen home test kits is available at ihealthlabs.com.
For the latest news on COVID-19 vaccines and testing in Norwalk, visit norwalkct.org/citynews.