NORTH ATTLEBORO – The health department will resume distributing its supply of free COVID-19 test kits to town hall on Monday.
Health worker Sheri Miller-Bedau said Thursday the city has about 1,000 state-provided kits to distribute to city residents who qualify Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at City Hall. Each kit contains two rapid home tests. Citizens can print a form, available on the city’s website, www.nattleboro.com, to take with them. Forms are also available at the town hall. The kits are only available to local residents, Miller-Bedau said.
“We would like people to get the kits before New Years Eve,” she said. The website also includes instructions on using the tests.
The city received about 4,700 kits from the state under a program announced by Governor Charlie Baker last week. About 1,000 went directly to the school service for distribution to students with another case of 40 kits going to the aging council and four cases going to the housing authority, all for residents in financial difficulty.
The city began distributing the kits to members of the public at town hall on Monday and continued until Wednesday. (The town hall was closed on Thursday noon and was closed on Friday for Christmas.)
“Every day he seemed to be doubling down,” Miller-Bedau said of the cast, which she said went well. “People were very grateful which was wonderful.
The Baker administration announced last week that 2.1 million over-the-counter tests from iHealth Labs will be delivered to 102 cities with the highest percentage of families below the poverty line. These communities represent nearly 3.7 million people in Massachusetts. Locally, they include Attleboro and North Attleboro.
Testing can be done in 15 minutes without the need to send a sample to a lab, Baker’s office said.
“With the holidays approaching, we are encouraging residents to use rapid tests as a convenient way to protect family members and friends at gatherings,” the governor said in a statement.
Testing appears to be scarce at retail outlets. The Sun Chronicle called Walgreens and CVS in Attleboro and Anawan Pharmacy in Rehoboth earlier in the week and all were out of test kits.
The person who answered the phone at Anawan said the store was expecting a delivery of 200 that day.
Miller-Bedau, the city’s health officer, said she was not sure further state-provided tests would be available once the current supply runs out and local officials are awaiting news. state health authorities.
Even if a person is not feeling sick, she said: “These tests are great for asymptomatic people,” she said, but added that if a person is positive they should contact their own. healthcare provider for a PCR test that can determine which variant of the virus might be present, whether it is the Delta or Omicron strains. “This is very important information for the state,” she said.